The Boons Group

Service Synthesis Laboratory – Tailormade Syntheses to Suit Your Needs

Our Service Synthesis Laboratory (SSL) offers custom synthesis of oligosaccharides, glycoconjugates, and related compounds using the latest synthetic technologies. We are committed to helping industrial and academic laboratories in their efforts to explore the biological and pharmaceutical roles of carbohydrates and glycoconjugates. The capabilities of the SSL fall into four main areas.

Oligosaccharide Synthesis

Recent advances in the chemical and enzymatic synthesis of oligosaccharides have made possible the reliable preparation of a wide range of oligosaccharides. We have developed highly convergent methods for the rapid assembly of oligosaccharides using a combination of chemical and enzymatic approaches. We can synthesize both small (mg) and large (multigram) quantities of oligosaccharides, and the state-of-the-art analytical facilities of the CCRC enable us to perform detailed analyses of the molecules we synthesize to ensure final products of high quality.

Library Synthesis
Biological studies often require large collections of oligosaccharides to study the relationship between structure and function. The advances afforded by combinatorial chemistry enable us to prepare collections of compounds more quickly and efficiently. We have developed both solution- and solid-phase combinatorial approaches for the synthesis of oligosaccharide libraries and can also prepare libraries of chemically modified saccharides. Combinatorial synthesis can be performed in a parallel fashion or as mix and split approach.

Clustered Oligosaccharides and Glycomimetics
Several disadvantages have been associated with the use of complex oligosaccharides as therapeutic agents. They often display unfavorable pharmacokinetics and have poor metabolic stability and oral absorption. In addition, many carbohydrates bind with low affinity to a protein (mmol or m mol range), which complicates using them as drugs. These problems have been addressed by the design and synthesis of compounds derived from saccharides but with more favorable pharmacological properties. In general, multivalent saccharides display much higher binding affinities and selectivities compared to monomeric carbohydrate ligands. We have developed combinatorial approaches for synthesizing collections of multivalent saccharides and are also able to synthesize glycomimetics.

Many biologically important saccharides are attached to lipids or proteins. We can synthesize naturally occurring glycolipids and glycoproteins as well as neoglycolipids and neoglycopeptides, and can conjugate saccharides to proteins.

For further information about custom syntheses, please contact:

Dr. Geert-Jan Boons
Complex Carbohydrate Research Center
The University of Georgia,
220 Riverbend Road,
Athens, Georgia 30602-4712, USA
Tel.: 706-542-9161
Fax: 706-542-4412

Other services of the CCRC. The CCRC offers routine composition and sequence analysis of complex carbohydrates of plant, microbe, or animal origin. Specialized mass spectrometric and NMR spectroscopic analyses can also be performed, as can computer modeling of small and large molecules, and even of receptors and their ligands. The expertise of the CCRC faculty is wide-ranging and, as a result, we can provide comprehensive services for multifaceted projects. [Please take a look at our Web page ( for further general information about the full range of our services.]