Synthesis Services

Automated Glycan Synthesis (AGA)


The field of glycomaterials has been slowed by the inability to automate the synthesis of oligosaccharides. These molecules are a challenge to produce due to the inherent structural similarities of carbohydrates and the need for stereospecific bond formation. As oligosaccharide synthesis is inherently repetitive with multiple sequential steps, automated oligosaccharide synthesis is necessary. Initially pioneered by Peter Seeberger, the Glyconeer® is the first commercial, fully automated oligosaccharide synthesizer. This instrument, in combination with commercially available building blocks, enables users to quickly and reproducibly synthesize an array of higher order oligosaccharides.


Features of the Glyconeer® include:
• Delivery of solvents and reagents via argon pressure
• Compatible with a wide range of chemistries and various solvent/reagents combinations
• Software designed to maximize simplicity while maintaining functionality
• Temperature controlled reaction vessels (-40 to +80 °C)
• On-line UV detection to monitor coupling efficiency
• Synthesis scale from 10-100 micromoles
• 64-position carousel for the delivery of monosaccharide building blocks
• Triple-jacketed glass reaction vessel
• Separate fraction and waste collection


Synthesis of glycan arrays, oligosaccharide standards, labeled glycans, glycoconjugates, glycomaterials, and carbohydrate-based biomimetics.

The placement of two Glyconeers at the GlycoMIP facility at Virginia Tech will allow researchers from across the county to obtain key glycomaterials for their studies at a cost dependent solely on the cost of reagents and supplies.

Associated Equipment: Two Shimadzu semi-preparative HPLCs with evaporative light scattering detectors and fraction collectors for target purification, a Biotage Selekt for building block preparation, as well as other standard synthesis-related resources. A suite of mass spectrometers (MALDI and LCMS) and NMRs are also available for full compound characterization.

Instrument Status:  The target date for these systems to be operational is Summer 2021.

User Access: The Glyconeers are a GlycoMIP-supported resource; available to approved users of the GlycoMIP user facility for only the cost of needed supplies and reagents.