Bioinspired Terpene Synthesis: A Radical Approach

Chem Soc Rev. 2011 Jul;40(7):3525-37. doi: 10.1039/c0cs00220h. Epub 2011 Apr 12.


This tutorial review highlights the development of radical-based bioinspired synthesis of terpenes from the initial proposal to the development of modern catalytic methods for performing such processes. The power of the radical approach is demonstrated by the straightforward syntheses of many natural products from readily available starting materials. The efficiency of these processes nicely complements the described cationic polyolefin cyclisations and even suggests that modern radical methods provide means to improve upon nature's synthetic pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomimetics / methods*
  • Cyclization
  • Free Radicals / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Terpenes / chemical synthesis*
  • Terpenes / chemistry


  • Free Radicals
  • Terpenes