Chemoenzymatic routes to the synthesis of biodegradable sugar-based water absorbents

Jonathan S. Dordick, Brett D. Martin, Robert J. Linhard, Xiaomao Chen, David G. Rethwisch

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


An increasing number of novel materials are synthesized from polyfunctional precursors. These materials included chiral polymers, photo-optical materials (e.g., to provide control of refractive index), and biodegradable/biocompatible polymers. Highly selective (e.g., regio-, stereo-, and chemo-) syntheses are often required for suitable polymeric properties. Specific examples of this requirement are the synthesis of water-absorbent, biocompatible/biodegradable polymers from sugars and the synthesis of modified lignins with free phenolics to produce reactive phenolic resins. In both instances, the biological reactant is multifunctional and are well-suited for enzymic modification. Chemoenzymatic synthesis represents a significant advantage over either purely chemical approaches (enhanced regioselectivity) and purely enzymatic routes (greater speed and, in the case of poly(sucrose acrylate), substantially higher molecular weights). Hydrogels prepared by this approach contain extremely high equilibrium water contents and are predominantly composed of sugars which are biodegradable and biocompatible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)562-563
Number of pages2
JournalPolymeric Materials Science and Engineering, Proceedings of the ACS Division of Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the American Chemical Society Division of Polymeric Materials - Science and Engineering - Chicago, IL, USA
Duration: 11 Jun 199311 Jun 1993


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