University Chemistry ›› 2023, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (1): 1-7.doi: 10.3866/PKU.DXHX202212058

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Basics and Frontiers of Click Chemistry and Bioorthogonal Chemistry: A Brief Introduction to 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Hengyu Li1, Chengyang Lai1, Amelia Siqi Huang2, Xing Chen1,*()   

  1. 1 College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2 Dalton Academy, The Affiliated High School of Peking University, Beijing 100190, China
  • Received:2022-12-20 Accepted:2022-12-28 Published:2022-12-30
  • Contact: Xing Chen


The 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Morten Meldal, and K. Barry Sharpless, for the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry. Stemming from the advances on the methodology of organic synthesis, click chemistry provides a versatile tool for coupling molecules with high efficiency under mild conditions. Orignially developed for specific labeling and visualization of glycans–an important biomacromolecule in living systems–bioorthogonal chemistry is a class of ligation reactions which neither interfere with nor being interfered by the surrounding biological milieu. Click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry are interconnected through similar philosophy and have emerged as the most useful chemical reactions in chemistry, biomedicine, and material science. Here, we briefly introduce the fundamental concepts and frontiers related to click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry.

Key words: Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Click chemistry, Bioorthogonal chemistry