Edinburgh Student Microscope (circa 1934)


Galleria
License Info
Image Use
Custom Photos
Partners
Site Info
Contact Us
Publications
Home

The Galleries:

Photo Gallery
Silicon Zoo
Pharmaceuticals
Chip Shots
Phytochemicals
DNA Gallery
Microscapes
Vitamins
Amino Acids
Birthstones
Religion Collection
Pesticides
BeerShots
Cocktail Collection
Screen Savers
Win Wallpaper
Mac Wallpaper
Movie Gallery
 

Aspirin Video No. 7
28k Stream

Acetylsalicylic acid, better known as aspirin, is well known for its properties as a nonnarcotic analgesic and anti-inflammatory drug. A derivative of salicylic acid, the drug crystallizes in the form of a white, needle-like powder with only a faint odor. It was first synthesized in 1897 by chemist, Felix Hoffmann, an employee at the BayerŽ Company in Germany to relieve his father's rheumatism. The compound later became the active ingredient in aspirin named - "a" from acetyl, "spir" from the Meadowsweet plant Spiraea ulmaria (now called Filipendula ulmari) that yields salicin, and "in," a common suffix for medications.

Salicylates are naturally occurring compounds that have long been used by humans for their medicinal properties. To relieve pain and fever, the Greek physician Hippocrates prescribed teas made from the salicin rich bark and leaves of the willow tree, Salix alba. Historically, many other cultures throughout the world have utilized plant extracts high in salicin compounds.

Salicin, the parent of the salicylate drug family, was successfully isolated in 1829 from willow bark. Sodium salicylate, a predecessor to aspirin, was developed along with salicylic acid in 1875 as a pain reliever. Although sodium salicylate was widely used during the 1800s, it was very irritating to the stomach lining and caused problems for people taking it on a regular basis to treat painful conditions such as arthritis. This was the dilemma Felix Hoffmann's father encountered, which motivated the chemist to develop a form with less serious side effects.

BACK TO ASPIRIN INDEX

Questions or comments? Send us an email.
© 1995-2013 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, software, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 04:45 PM
Access Count Since April 23, 2001: 8887
Microscopes provided by:
Visit the Nikon website. Visit the Olympus Microscopy Resource Center website.