Chemical approaches for detection and destruction of nerve agents†
Since the introduction of organophosphorus (OP) compounds as nerve agents and pesticides, methods of dealing with their toxicity to humans have been intensely researched. There are studies on sensing, pretreatments, prophylactics, antidotes and therapies. There is some overlap in all of these endeavors because they have to deal with the reactivity of the phosphorus atom in various contexts. The contexts range from large spaces, the thinly spread vapors in the air, to very small spaces in the active sites of enzymes – acetylcholinesterase (AChE) or butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) – that have reacted with the OP agent.
- This article is part of the themed collection: In Celebration of Andrew D. Hamilton’s Career in Chemistry