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Pure Appl. Chem., Vol. 71, No. 12, pp. 2349-2365, 1999




Glossary of Terms Used in Combinatorial Chemistry
(Technical Report)

World Wide Web Version

D. Maclean, J.J. Baldwin, V.T. Ivanov, Y. Kato, A. Shaw, P. Schneider, and E.M. Gordon

Introduction: The development of combinatorial chemistry has generated a wide variety of new concepts and much associated terminology. In addition, the nature of research in this area has brought together scientists from diverse backgrounds: statisticians may discuss their work with biologists and heterocyclic chemists; medicinal chemists are talking to engineers, analytical chemists, and polymer scientists. In recognition of the potential for confusion and lack of communication in this field, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) convened a working party (within the Division of Human Health, Medicinal Chemistry Section) to attempt to capture and define the terminology at the interface of these endeavours. The following Glossary is the result of their efforts. It is hoped that it will provide a resource for those new to the area encountering terms for the first time, and, perhaps, to increase the clarity of communication between more experienced workers in the field.

The Glossary is not intended as a comprehensive review or encyclopaedia of combinatorial chemistry, although occasional attempts have been made to broaden the scope beyond a strict dictionary-type definition of terms by providing illustrative examples of some terms, and directing readers to literature sources where appropriate. These references have not necessarily been chosen to attribute credit for the discovery or invention of a term; rather they should provide the most pertinent information for the topic. Ideally this will be an article or review with the Glossary term as its central theme, in which proper accreditation for the seminal contributions to that area may be found.

Because of the intrinsic interdisciplinary nature of this area of research, it has not been possible to provide a comprehensive coverage of each of the sub-fields, neither has this been the intent. Rather it has been attempted to identify those elements which are particularly pertinent to combinatorial chemistry. Thus, in the analytical sciences "magic angle spinning" gains an entry whereas "mass spectrometry" does not. The interested reader will readily be able to find more detailed treatments of these specialized areas.

Trademarks have been included where, in the judgement of the authors, their use has become sufficiently widespread that they often do not receive appropriate citation; the implicit assumption being that the reader will understand what is meant. This criterion has been adopted over one of inclusiveness, which would rapidly become extreme in many areas. In a field which is developing as rapidly as combinatorial chemistry a document such as this Glossary may soon require revision. The authors welcome suggestions for new terms, clarifications, references, and other comments which will aid in the development of this resource.

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