Esteganografia: reações de multicomponentes fornecem moléculas chaves para comunicação secreta

quinta-feira, maio 03, 2018

Multicomponent reactions provide key molecules for secret communication

Andreas C. Boukis, Kevin Reiter, Maximiliane Frölich, Dennis Hofheinz & Michael A. R. Meier

Nature Communications volume 9, Article number: 1439 (2018)

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Chemical libraries Information technology

Received: 27 September 2017 Accepted: 13 March 2018

Published online: 12 April 2018


A convenient and inherently more secure communication channel for encoding messages via specifically designed molecular keys is introduced by combining advanced encryption standard cryptography with molecular steganography. The necessary molecular keys require large structural diversity, thus suggesting the application of multicomponent reactions. Herein, the Ugi four-component reaction of perfluorinated acids is utilized to establish an exemplary database consisting of 130 commercially available components. Considering all permutations, this combinatorial approach can unambiguously provide 500,000 molecular keys in only one synthetic procedure per key. The molecular keys are transferred nondigitally and concealed by either adsorption onto paper, coffee, tea or sugar as well as by dissolution in a perfume or in blood. Re-isolation and purification from these disguises is simplified by the perfluorinated sidechains of the molecular keys. High resolution tandem mass spectrometry can unequivocally determine the molecular structure and thus the identity of the key for a subsequent decryption of an encoded message.


We thank PD Dr. Weiss, T. Neck, and Dr. N. Boukis for the discussions and comments on early versions of this manuscript. A.B. is grateful for the Chemie Fonds fellowship from the VCI. This work was financially supported in part by SFB 1176 (Projects A3 and Q5). We thank Prof. Podlech for sharing lab space with us. We acknowledge support by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and Open Access Publishing Fund of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

Author information


Laboratory of Applied Chemistry, Institute of Organic Chemistry (IOC), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Straße am Forum 7, Karlsruhe, 76131, Germany

Andreas C. Boukis, Maximiliane Frölich & Michael A. R. Meier

Institute of Nano Technology (INT), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, 76344, Germany

Kevin Reiter

Institute for Theoretical Informatics (ITI), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Am Fasanengarten 5, Karlsruhe, 76131, Germany

Dennis Hofheinz


A.B. and M.M. conceived and designed the project. A.B. designed the experiments with input from M.M. K.R. programed the analysis script. M.F. synthesized the molecular keys under the supervision of A.B. D.H. optimized the cryptography integration and programed the molecular encryption script. A.B. analyzed data, prepared the figures and wrote the paper, with feedback from all the authors.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Michael A. R. Meier.


NOTA DESTE BLOGGER: A esteganografia (em grego significa “escrita oculta). É o estudo de técnicas que permitam esconder informações dentro de outros arquivos, sejam imagens, músicas, vídeos ou mesmo textos. A teoria do Design Inteligente tem na esteganografia um campo fértil de pesquisas.