Palladium-catalyzed reactions are among the most commonly used procedures in organic synthesis. The products have a range of uses, including as intermediates in total synthesis and as screening compounds for drug discovery or agrochemical projects. Despite the known and potentially deleterious effects of low-level metal impurities in biological assays, the quantification of metal remaining in reaction products to verify the effective removal of the transition element is rarely reported. Using palladium as an exemplar, we describe a pilot study that for the first time quantifies residual metal levels in reaction products following increasingly rigorous purification protocols. Our results demonstrate that significant levels of residual palladium can remain in isolated reaction products following chromatographic purification, and only by using a subsequent metal scavenging step are they reliably reduced to a low level. Finally, we provide a set of simple guidelines that should minimize the potential for issues associated with residual palladium in reaction products.
ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters