Continuous Flow Synthesis of A2E

  • Technology Readiness Level: 3
  • Technology Validation: The researchers used optical spectroscopy and LC-MS to confirm that the synthetic A2E samples were pure and had full biological properties.


Researchers at Purdue University have developed a set of reaction conditions to optimize production of N-Retinylidene-N-retinylethanolamine (A2E). A2E forms lipid deposits in the retinal pigment epithelium, causing vision impairment and blindness in eye conditions such as Stargardt’s disease, cone-rod dystrophy, Best’s macular dystrophy, and potentially age-related macular degeneration. Synthetic A2E is often used to simulate vision impairment in vitro, providing insights into the mechanisms of these eye conditions. Purdue researchers have modified the conventional one-pot reaction conditions for production of synthetic A2E to optimize yield. In a continuous flow reactor, the researchers obtained an 87-fold reduction in reaction time, from 48 hours to 33 minutes, with an accompanying yield improvement from 49% to 78%.


  • Short reaction time
  • High yielding, pure A2E synthesis
  • Continuous flow synthesis

Potential Applications

  • In vitro modeling of retinal disorders/vision impairment conditions

Contact Information

Name: Joseph R Kasper


Phone: 765-588-3475