Funktionelle Mikrogele und Mikrogelsysteme

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The main goal of the A1 part of the SFB interdisciplinary project is to improve enzyme efficacy in specific organic reactions by embedding and tethering enzymes to microgels as well as reengineering enzyme structures.

The initial focus was on the Candida anarctica lipase B, CaLB, aiming to enable ester formation in aqueous dispersions. The enzyme has been linked to a microgel to minimize its hydrolytic activity. Further identification of the optimum lipase-microgel hybrid and systematic studies of its catalytic performance in the hydrolyzation, esterification, and polymerization activities within oil/water emulsions are ongoing.

Future emphasis aims also at an interdisciplinary tandem reaction in which the monooxygenase P450 BM3 is used to hydroxylate halogenated aromatic compounds (e.g. iodobenzene) that can subsequently undergo C-O and C-C coupling catalysed by a copper scorpionate. For the monooxygenase, the microgel generates a hydrophilic environment around the enzyme and at the same time links it closely to the copper scorpionate which is embedded in a hydrophobic environment. By this, a tandem reaction will be formed in which the two catalytic centers are brought into close distance but remain at the same time in their catalytically favorable environment.