In-vitro enzyme catalysis (biocatalysis) is receiving increased attention and is expected to play a major role in future material preparation since it functions under mild conditions with often remarkable enantio, regio and chemoselectivity. Enzyme catalysis can for example circumvent the need for heavy metal catalysis and, in some cases, organic solvents. For these reasons biocatalysis is widely used and accepted in the area of pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals. The challenge for the polymer chemist is the full technological integration of enzymatic polymerizations as an additional technique in the toolbox for material synthesis. Successful integration will open new avenues to exploit the advantages of enzymatic catalysis for novel well-defined polymeric materials and will result in a sustainable technology.
The participants at KTH will work on polymer synthesis and modification by biocatalysis as well as on enzyme engineering. The project is a Research training network - Marie Curie. Other participants: RTW Aachen, DSM, TUE Eindhoven, U Nottingham, CIDETEC.