Combinatorial chemistry is used to build chemical libraries. A chemical library is a family of compounds that share the same basic chemical structure. These libraries are used in the lead generation, lead modification, and biological screening processes. Researchers start from the common parent structure and systematically add repetitive molecular blocks. The result is a full array of compounds based on the same scaffold. Originally, combinatorial chemistry was used to make peptide libraries; however, it is now most commonly used to build large arrays of small molecules. It is only with the advent of high throughput screening that combinatorial chemistry could be used extensively, considering the need to test these millions of compound arrays in a very short period of time.
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