1. The Stephan Curve revisited
William H Bowen Odontology. 2013 Jan;101(1):2-8. doi: 10.1007/s10266-012-0092-z. Epub 2012 Dec 6.
The Stephan Curve has played a dominant role in caries research over the past several decades. What is so remarkable about the Stephan Curve is the plethora of interactions it illustrates and yet acid production remains the dominant focus. Using sophisticated technology, it is possible to measure pH changes in plaque; however, these observations may carry a false sense of accuracy. Recent observations have shown that there may be multiple pH values within the plaque matrix, thus emphasizing the importance of the milieu within which acid is formed. Although acid production is indeed the immediate proximate cause of tooth dissolution, the influence of alkali production within plaque has received relative scant attention. Excessive reliance on Stephan Curve leads to describing foods as "safe" if they do not lower the pH below the so-called "critical pH" at which point it is postulated enamel dissolves. Acid production is just one of many biological processes that occur within plaque when exposed to sugar. Exploration of methods to enhance alkali production could produce rich research dividends.
2. Organocatalytic asymmetric synthesis of β(3)-amino acid derivatives
Sun Min Kim, Jung Woon Yang Org Biomol Chem. 2013 Aug 7;11(29):4737-49. doi: 10.1039/c3ob40917a. Epub 2013 Jun 7.
β(3)-Amino acid derivatives are an essential resource for pharmaceutical production, medicinal chemistry, and biochemistry. In this article, recent developments in versatile organocatalysis, i.e., Brønsted acid catalysis, Brønsted base catalysis, Lewis acid catalysis, Lewis base catalysis, and phase-transfer catalysis, for the asymmetric synthesis of β(3)-amino acid derivatives will be presented.
3. Modulation of Self-Separating Molecular Catalysts for Highly Efficient Biomass Transformations
Lifei Lian, Xiang Chen, Xianfeng Yi, Yubing Liu, Wei Chen, Anmin Zheng, Haralampos N Miras, Yu-Fei Song Chemistry. 2020 Sep 10;26(51):11900-11908. doi: 10.1002/chem.202001451. Epub 2020 Aug 13.
The energetically viable fabrication of stable and highly efficient solid acid catalysts is one of the key steps in large-scale transformation processes of biomass resources. Herein, the covalent modification of the classical Dawson polyoxometalate (POMs) with sulfonic acids (-SO3 H) is reported by grafting sulfonic acid groups on the POM's surface followed by oxidation of (3-mercaptopropyl)trimethoxysilane. The acidity of TBA6 -P2 W17 -SO3 H (TBA=tetrabutyl ammonium) has been demonstrated by using 31 P NMR spectroscopy, clearly indicating the presence of strong Brønsted acid sites. The presence of TBA counterions renders the solid acid catalyst as a promising candidate for phase transfer catalytic processes. The TBA6 -P2 W17 -SO3 H shows remarkable activity and selectivity, excellent stability, and great substrate compatibility for the esterification of free fatty acids (FFA) with methanol and conversion into biodiesel at 70 °C with >98 % conversion of oleic acid in 20 min. The excellent catalytic performance can be attributed to the formation of a catalytically active emulsion, which results in a uniform catalytic behavior during the reaction, leading to efficient interaction between the substrate and the active sites of the catalyst. Most importantly, the catalyst can be easily recovered and reused without any loss of its catalytic activity owing to its excellent phase transfer properties. This work offers an efficient and cost-effective strategy for large-scale biomass conversion applications.