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Chemical Crystal Movie Gallery

Acetylcholine Chloride Movie #1

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for gated binding control of cation channels to allow inflow of sodium into muscle cells. When recrystallized from the melt, the biochemical will slowly recrystallize, forming dendritic needle-like crystals.

This chloride salt of acetylcholine is a synthetic version of the central and peripheral neurotransmitter, but is used also as a vasodilator and cardiovascular agent. Available via prescription, acetylcholine chloride is used to keep eye pupils dilated during eye surgery and as a bathing solution for the eyes.

Alternatively known as 2-acetoxyethyltrimethylammonium chloride to biochemists or by the trade name miochol to ophthalmologists, acetylcholine chloride (ACC) forms a white crystal or crystalline powder that is very soluble in water, freely soluble in ethanol, and practically insoluble in ether. The melting point ranges from 149 to 152 degrees Celsius, and in solution, the pH is moderately acidic between 4.0 and 5.7. Featuring 7 carbon, 16 hydrogen, 1 chlorine, 1 nitrogen, and 2 oxygen atoms per molecule, the molecular weight of acetylcholine chloride is 181.66. When reformed from the melt, this organic chemical will slowly recrystallize, forming dendritic, needle-like crystals.

Acetylcholine chloride solution is utilized in cataract surgery and penetrating keratoplasty. Administered by intraocular irrigation, acetylcholine chloride promotes rapid and complete miosis, or constriction of the pupil of the eye. It is also employed as a pharmaceutical raw material for creating other prescription drugs. In the laboratory, acetylcholine chloride can be synthesized from trimethylame and beta-chloroethyl acetate. The synthesized, purified, and stabilized form of acetylcholine is used for clinical research on Alzheimer's disease, in which an impaired acetylcholine balance is implicated. Holistic health practitioners prescribe acetylcholine chloride as a remedy for chest congestion, indigestion, drowsiness, headaches, general fatigue, and forgetfulness.

Contributing Authors

Omar Alvarado, Thomas J. Fellers and Michael W. Davidson - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, 1800 East Paul Dirac Dr., The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 32310.


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