Enzymatic Polymerization of PCL-PEG co-polymers for Biomedical Applications


Biodegradable polymers, obtained via chemical synthesis, are currently employed in a wide range of biomedical applications. However, enzymatic polymerization is an attractive alternative because it is more sustainable and safer. Many lipases can be employed in ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of biodegradable polymers. Nevertheless, the harsh conditions required in industrial context are not always compatible with their enzymatic activity. In this work, we have studied a thermophilic carboxylesterase and the commonly used Lipase B from Candida antarctica (CaLB) for tailored synthesis of amphiphilic polyesters for biomedical applications. We have conducted Molecular Dynamics (MD) and Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics (QM/MM) MD simulations of the synthesis of Polycaprolactone—Polyethylene Glycol (PCL—PEG) model co-polymers. Our insights about the reaction mechanisms are important for the design of customized enzymes capable to synthesize different polyesters for biomedical applications.


Pedro Figueiredo, Beatriz C. Almeida and Alexandra T. P. Carvalho

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