Famous Scientist: Karl Paul Link

Jocelin Loewen Chemistry 4th

Contributions to Science

Many farmers were complaining about how their cows were bleeding out and failing so they enlisted the help of Professor Karl Paul Link. Professor Link tested the hay that they were feeding the cows and through many experiments (see below), he discovered coumarin, which is the primary ingredient in Coumadin, a widely used blood thinner that is prescribed for treating cardiovascular disease. Link made more than 100 variants of dicoumarol (which is a derivative of coumarin), some are used in human medicine and saved a lot of people from the danger of blood clots Coumarin also has a counterpart, Warfarin, which is used as rodenticide worldwide.

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Experiment 1

Link, with the help of some of his students, set out to find, isolate, and characterize the hemorrhagic agent produced in spoiled sweet clover hay. He did this through recovering 6mg of crystalline anticoagulant, feeding his concentrates to rabbits, and testing their blood for changes in their prothrombin levels. Through these experimentations, he found out that the hemorrhagic agent had the formula, C19H12O6, and that it represented a product that never been found in nature.

Experiment 2

In another experiment, with the help of his students, Link continued to search for the hemorrhagic agent. In four months, they were able to isolate 1.8 grams of recrystallized anticoagulant, which gave them enough information to check it against their last experiment. This allowed them to thoroughly characterize the agent. They did some degradation experiments, and found out that the anticoagulant was 3,3′-methylenebis-(4-hydroxycoumarin) which was later renamed dicumarol.