Full Chemical Structure Search- Understanding the Basics

What is Chemical Structure Search?

Chemical structure search is one of the most important kinds of patent searches performed these days by patent search professionals and if done prudently can offer tons of information to the searcher about the molecule, compounds or salts. Companies from various verticals of the industry including biotechnology, food processing, and textiles use chemical structure search to recognize the names of chemical compounds in patent texts and/or recognize their structure from embedded drawings in patent texts.  Full Chemical Structure Search

What purpose a full Chemical Structure Search Serves?

A comprehensive and full chemical structure search serves many purposes depending on the needs and requirements of the searcher. Some of the important purposes that it can serve are:

  • Helps to recognize the names of chemical compounds in patent texts
  • Helps to recognize the structure of a particular chemical compound from embedded drawings in patent texts.
  • The novelty of a compound can be assessed.
  • When we intend to correlate the structure(s) of a compound with its chemical or physical properties.
  • When we intend to correlate the structure(s) of a compound with its biological activities.
  • When we intend to exclude unwanted features of a molecule/compound.
  • When we intend to avoid the complexities of nomenclature.
  • The structure(s) can be linked to chemical reaction databases to see model compounds or to look for specific reaction conditions.
  • When we intend to find competitive products or market leads of a particular compound.
  • In combination with other types of searches, structure searching is a very powerful supplement.

Types of Chemical Structure Searches

A chemical structure search can be of many types depending upon the degree of broadness a searcher is willing to take; still, some of the common types of chemical structure searches are as below:

Exact Search – This search retrieves the substance as drawn plus any stereoisomers, ionic substances, or homo-polymers, as well as isotopically labeled compounds with that structure

Family Search – With a Family Search we can retrieve the same set of compounds as the EXACT search, but will also retrieve any multi-component compounds represented in the Registry File (salts, mixtures, or copolymers)

Full Substructure Search – With this kind of chemical structure search we can retrieve any record in the file that has the structure input as the search key.

Closed Substructure Search- Such kind of searches allows variable nodes at certain defined positions only. 

Some Important Databases for doing a full chemical structure searches

Apart from the well-known SciFinder database, free databases for chemical structure search are the following:

  • Pubchem
  • ChemSpider
  • ChemFrog
  • ChemDB
  • iScienceSearch
  • Chemicalize

The above mentioned facts are only the superficial aspect of a chemical structure search and a lot is still to be known which we will cover in our latter articles.

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