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Spatially confined lignin nanospheres for biocatalytic ester synthesis in aqueous media.

Nature communications (2018-06-14)
Mika Henrikki Sipponen, Muhammad Farooq, Jari Koivisto, Alessandro Pellis, Jani Seitsonen, Monika Österberg
ABSTRACT

Dehydration reactions proceed readily in water-filled biological cells. Development of biocatalysts that mimic such compartmentalized reactions has been cumbersome due to the lack of low-cost nanomaterials and associated technologies. Here we show that cationic lignin nanospheres function as activating anchors for hydrolases, and enable aqueous ester synthesis by forming spatially confined biocatalysts upon self-assembly and drying-driven aggregation in calcium alginate hydrogel. Spatially confined microbial cutinase and lipase retain 97% and 70% of their respective synthetic activities when the volume ratio of water to hexane increases from 1:1 to 9:1 in the reaction medium. The activity retention of industrially most frequently used acrylic resin-immobilized Candida antarctica lipase B is only 51% under similar test conditions. Overall, our findings enable fabrication of robust renewable biocatalysts for aqueous ester synthesis, and provide insight into the compartmentalization of diverse heterogeneous catalysts.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Dimethyl sulfoxide-d6, 99.9 atom % D
Sigma-Aldrich
Acridine Orange hydrochloride solution, 10 mg/mL in H2O
Sigma-Aldrich
Amano Lipase M from Mucor javanicus, ≥10,000 U/g, pH 7.0, 40 °C (Optimum pH and temperature)