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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Lipase-catalyzed polycondensations: effect of substrates and solvent on chain formation, dispersity, and end-group structure.

The effects of substrates and solvent on polymer formation, number-average molecular weight (M(n)), polydispersity, and end-group structure for lipase-catalyzed polycondensations were investigated. Diphenyl ether was found to be the preferred solvent for the polyesterification of adipic acid and 1,8-octanediol giving a M(n) of 28 500 (48 h, 70 degrees C). The effect of varying the alkylene chain length of diols and diacids on the molecular weight distribution and the polymer end-group structure was assessed. A series of diacids (succinic, glutaric, adipic, and sebacic acid) and diols (1,4-butanediol, 1,6-hexanediol, and 1,8-octanediol) were polymerized in solution and in bulk. It was found that reactions involving monomers having longer alkylene chain lengths of diacids (sebacic and adipic acid) and diols (1,8-octanediol and 1,6-hexanediol) give a higher reactivity than reactions of shorter chain-length diacids (succinic and glutaric acid) and 1,4-butanediol. The bulk lipase-catalyzed condensation reactions were feasible, but the use of diphenyl ether gave higher M(n) values (42,400 g/ mol in 3 days at 70 degrees C). The polydispersity varied little over the conditions studied giving values </=2. No specific trend with respect to end-group structure as a function of time was observed. At 70 degrees C, the retention of catalyst activity in the bulk was independent of substrate structure but was higher when reactions were conducted in diphenyl ether than in bulk.[1]


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