A data-driven and topological mapping approach for the a priori prediction of stable molecular crystalline hydrates

Richard S. Hong, Alessandra Mattei, Ahmad Y. Sheikh, Mark E. Tuckerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Predictions of the structures of stoichiometric, fractional, or nonstoichiometric hydrates of organic molecular crystals are immensely challenging due to the extensive search space of different water contents, host molecular placements throughout the crystal, and internal molecular conformations. However, the dry frameworks of these hydrates, especially for nonstoichiometric or isostructural dehydrates, can often be predicted from a standard anhydrous crystal structure prediction (CSP) protocol. Inspired by developments in the field of drug binding, we introduce an efficient data-driven and topologically aware approach for predicting organic molecular crystal hydrate structures through a mapping of water positions within the crystal structure. The method does not require a priori specification of water content and can, therefore, predict stoichiometric, fractional, and nonstoichiometric hydrate structures. This approach, which we term a mapping approach for crystal hydrates (MACH), establishes a set of rules for systematic determination of favorable positions for water insertion within predicted or experimental crystal structures based on considerations of the chemical features of local environments and void regions. The proposed approach is tested on hydrates of three pharmaceutically relevant compounds that exhibit diverse crystal packing motifs and void environments characteristic of hydrate structures. Overall, we show that our mapping approach introduces an advance in the efficient performance of hydrate CSP through generation of stable hydrate stoichiometries at low cost and should be considered an integral component for CSP workflows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2204414119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number43
StatePublished - Oct 25 2022


  • crystal structure prediction
  • hydrate polymorphs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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