DrugPrinter - print any drug instantly, or not. Part 2.

22 Apr 2014 | tags: pseudoscience

Assuming you could actually make a DrugPrinter, how instantly would it be able to produce enough drug for testing? Let’s assume we want to make 10 mg of compound (enough for physicochemical analysis and basic screening) and it has a molar mass of 500 g/mol.

$ 10 \times 10^{-3} / 500 = 2 \times 10^{-5} \textsf{moles} $

From Avagadro’s number we can calculate the number of molecules

$ \textsf{Molecules} = 6.022 \times 10^{23} \times 2 \times 10^{-5} = 1.2044 \times 10^{19} \textsf{molecules} $

Assuming a synthesis rate of 1 molecule per second that comes out as 381.6 billion years to make 10 mg of material. Even at 1 molecule per nanosecond it’ll take 381 years. By that point your lead will have changed.

Update 23/04/2014

A commenter (YC) claiming to be the author has appeared on Quintus’ Blog and provided some of the referees comments. I replied to one of these relating to production rates but he’s not sure I’m correct. I’ve put a longer explanation here


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