Methods for Practical Synthesis of Deuterated Amino Acids

Case ID:

This invention is a new and improved method of producing amino acids labeled with deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen. Deuterium-labeled amino acids are used in a wide and increasing variety of applications, including study of metabolic pathways, study of protein structure, and decreasing drug toxicity while increasing potency. This invention can create more types of deuterated amino acids than existing methods, is more cost efficient, and is simpler, with fewer steps — making it a promising approach to satisfying the increasing demand for deuterium-labeled amino acids.



Existing procedures for production of deuterated amino acids have problems including issues with selectivity, amount of amino acid deuterated, and enantiomeric purity of products. There is a need for improved production approaches that will allow manufacturers to better keep up with increasing demand. While not much progress has been made in production methods for some time, this invention is not the only new approach vying to supplant existing techniques: methods from the Soloshonok group are being commercially developed, making this into a potentially competitive field as more groups attempt to solve these same issues.



  • Proteomics
    • Mass spectrometry
    • Nuclear magnetic resonance techniques
  • Drug discovery and development
  • Metabolic and biosynthetic pathway research
  • Protein structure research


  • Simpler (fewer steps)
  • Cheaper than existing methods
  • Can produce more types of amino acid
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Katherine Kuhns
Licensing Manager, UAHS-TLA
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Wei Wang