1-Ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)carbodiimide (EDC, EDAC or EDCI) is a water-soluble carbodiimide usually obtained as the hydrochloride. It is typically employed in the 4.0-6.0 pH range. It is generally used as a carboxyl activating agent for the coupling of primary amines to yield amide bonds. Additionally, EDC can also be used to activate phosphate groups in order to form phosphomono-esters and phosphodiesters. Common uses for this carbodiimide include peptide synthesis, protein crosslinking to nucleic acids, but also in the preparation of immunoconjugates. EDC is often used in combination with N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS) for the immobilisation of large biomolecules.
EDC is commercially available. It may be prepared by coupling ethyl isocyanate with N,N-dimethylpropane-1,3-diamine to give a urea, followed by dehydration: