I happened to stumble upon this Nature Chemistry article today. It claims that
[...] use a 3D printer to initiate chemical reactions by printing the reagents directly into a 3D reactionware matrix, and so put reactionware design, construction and operation under digital control.
Unfortunately, I cannot obtain the full article to read, but even the abstract does not seem plausible in my opinion. My questions are...
- How can one "print reagents"? What is meant by this?
- Most synthetic reactions require hours of refluxing and whatnot, not to mention isolation/purification afterwards. How can all of these techniques be performed with a printer?
Perhaps I'm not "getting it", but the abstract of the article isn't providing me with the explanations and theory I'm looking for. How can something like this be possible?
- Symes, Mark D., Philip J. Kitson, Jun Yan, Craig J. Richmond, Geoffrey J. T. Cooper, Richard W. Bowman, Turlif Vilbrandt, and Leroy Cronin. “Integrated 3D-printed Reactionware for Chemical Synthesis and Analysis.” Nat Chem 4, no. 5 (May 2012): 349–354.