Albert Ladenburg – pioneer in natural alkaloids synthesis

Albert Ladenburg – pioneer in natural alkaloids synthesis

Article on Albert Ladenburg

Biography & contributions

Albert Ladenburg, a German chemist born on July 02, 1842 – died on August 15, 1911. Ladenburg along with Ghent another eminent chemist worked on structure of benzene.

He proposed a structure of benzene but in 1973, it was realised and confirmed as structure of prismane chemical compound.

Ladenburg received Hanbury medal for chemistry research work in the year of 1889, Davy medal for synthesis of natural alkaloids in the year of 1905.

Ladenburg discovered the chemical similarities between silicon and carbon. He also investigated pyridine bases, proved that the molecule of ozone consists of three atoms of oxygen, and also isolated hyoscine or scopolamine.


Prismane is a colourless liquid, polycyclic hydrocarbon, and having molecular formula of C6H6. It is an isomer of benzene. Prismane is far less stable than benzene. The carbon atoms of the prismane molecule are arranged in the shape of a six-atom triangular prism. Albert Ladenburg proposed this structure for the compound now known as benzene.

Scopolamine / Hyoscine

Scopoderm is a tropane alkaloid drug with muscarinic antagonist effects. Scopolamine is an anticholinergic medicine. Scopolamine has many effects in the body including decreasing the secretion of fluids, slowing the stomach and intestines, and dilation of the pupils.

Scopolamine is used to relieve nausea, vomiting, and dizziness associated with motion sickness and recovery from anesthesia and surgery. Scopolamine acts by interfering with the transmission of nerve impulses by acetylcholine in the parasympathetic nervous system. Scopolamine may also be used in the treatment of parkinsonism, spastic muscle states, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, and other conditions.

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