Scientists at the University of Lincoln’s School of Pharmacy and School of Chemistry have co-authored a published paper of a study of the behaviour and chemical stability of lactams.

Pictured: The School of Pharmacy’s Dr Tobias Gruber and Christian Weck.

Lactams are cyclic amides and have important applications in industry (caprolactam for the production of nylon) and medicine (propiolactams are used as antibiotics). Information on the behaviour of lactams towards water and properties in the solid state (melting point, hardness etc) is vital for such applications.

The study, funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry, looks at a series of lactams with respect to the chemical stability and behaviour in the crystal state. The group identified structure-stability relationships depending on the substitution pattern of the lactams – crucial for e.g. the activity of beta-lactam antibiotics. In addition to this, the researchers found an unprecedented packing mode of lactams; so far only 2 modes are known for all lactams.

These findings represent a major contribution to the universal research on the prediction of crystal structures.

You can read the paper online: