Reactivity of 1,3-Dicarbonyl Compounds with Urea under Physiological Conditions
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In 2019, it is estimated that the number of people suffering from end-stage kidney disease lies between approximately five to seven million, all of whom are in need of renal replacement therapy. For those of whom a kidney transplant is not an option, a high weekly frequency of dialysis procedures in the hospital is required to replace the function of the kidney. The development of a wearable kidney device would prove to be a significant improvement on the quality of life of end-stage kidney disease patients, as it would not only provide them with the option to receive treatment independent of the location, but it would allow a more frequent treatment, which would likely reduce the prevalence of uremic symptoms that ultimately contribute to the mortality of the patients. However, the development of such a device is currently hindered due to its inability to effectively remove the smallest uremic toxin – urea. This thesis builds on the work of Jong et al., which has shown that small-molecule 1,3-dialdehyde structures react rapidly and efficiently with urea, even in highly diluted environments, under acidic conditions. This project focuses on the exploration of the development of 1,3-dialdehyde structures that would react with urea under physiological conditions. Specifically, this is done by varying the substituent in the 2-position of the 1,3-dialdehyde structure to potentially modulate the inherit acidic character of said structures. Amine-substituted 1,3-dialdehyde structures did not show any significant reactivity towards urea under physiological conditions, facilitating the need for further research in the field. Nevertheless, the novel polymeric structures that were synthesized within the scope of this project could potentially be investigated for other potential uses. Further, the results of this project suggest that the optimization of 1,2-dicarbonyl structures for generating a potent urea sorbent may prove to be more fruitful for the incorporation in a wearable artificial kidney device.