The creation of enormous libraries of chemicals and their subsequent screening for bioactivity has been accelerated through recent developments in encoding solid supports. The ability to accurately identify the structure of a biomolecule that has exhibited activity is invaluable and is closer to realisation in the advent of smart nanoscience. In this review the evolution of encoding solid supports as platforms for combinatorial synthesis is traced. Current approaches to encoding solid supports are reviewed and their potential for use as supports for the high-throughput screening of split and mix libraries explored. Finally, a brief consideration of the status of the application of encoded libraries is provided including creative chemical and colloidal encoding.
Keywords: combinatorial chemistry, split and mix, encoded supports, optical signatures, molecular tags, colloidal tags
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