Biological and Chemical catalysts tend to need highly distinct reaction conditions, making their link challenging. Scientists of the Ruhr – Universitat Bochum have succeeded in taking this hurdle by utilizing a special gel matrix to section both sorts of catalysts. The results grabbed by the Junior Research Group for Microbial Biotechnology led by Professor Dr. Robert Kouristhave been stated in a journal.
“Enzymes are friendly to environment biological catalysts that are now in the focus of modern synthetic chemistry,” says Robert Kourist. The primary reason is that they function under mild reaction conditions like neutral pH and low temperatures. Also, they are highly selective and produce only the desired products while diminishing the volume of by-products. However, there are a number of reactions, for which no appropriate enzymes have been identified so far. Such reactions have to be performed by chemical catalysts. “A linkage of the classic chemical enzymes and catalysts is a step towards more environment friendly chemical procedures,” says Kourist. “A challenge is to utilize them in the similar reaction due to their distinct needs concerning reaction conditions.”
Chemical catalysts are often organo metallic elements that need an organic solvent as the reaction media. But, there are just a few enzymes that can be active in such an environment. The researchers from Bochum, Dr. Alvaro Gomez Barabir, and Ph.D. student Dennis Reichert managed to encapsulate an enzyme in a special gel matric that enabled its use in pure organic solvents. Utilizing such strategy, they accomplished the sequential combination of an enzyme step and a chemical reaction.
“The linkage of the individual reaction steps in a cascade has plenty of advantages,” says Reichert. It is not essential to purify the product after each intermediate step as it can be utilized in the reaction directly, as a raw substance for the next step. This saves costs and time,” he explains.
The team illustrated this novel approach with the synthesis of polyphenois. “Such natural susbstances are utilized predominantly as natural antioxidants,” confirms Kourist. “They are also at the heart of distinct studies as novel drugs are used in cancer therapies and treatments.”
Synthetic manufacture of polyphenols is costly, and the production is low. The groups based from Bochum revealed that the reaction of the cascade could be performed efficiently by the applications of a gel matrix. Now while the two divisions have linked together, it is expected that more sound results would be obtained so that it is possible to serve more numbers of applications without experiencing any major trouble. With such results in hand, it is expected that now more gains would be achieved and that it would be possible to reduce the cost which is being spent on hefty applications and this would really be a great achievement.
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