Combinatorial Low‐Volume Synthesis of Well‐Defined Polymers by Enzyme Degassing

Research paper by Dr. Robert Chapman, Dr. Adam J. Gormley, Prof. Martina H. Stenzel, Prof. Molly M. Stevens

Indexed on: 04 Mar '16Published on: 03 Mar '16Published in: Angewandte Chemie International Edition


The synthesis of well‐defined polymers in a low‐volume, combinatorial fashion has long been a goal in polymer chemistry. Here, we report the preparation of a wide range of highly controlled homo and block co‐polymers by Enz‐RAFT (enzyme‐assisted reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer) polymerization in microtiter plates in the open atmosphere. The addition of 1 μm glucose oxidase (GOx) to water/solvent mixtures enables polymerization reactions to proceed in extremely low volumes (40 μL) and low radical concentrations. This procedure provides excellent control and high conversions across a range of monomer families and molecular weights, thus avoiding the need to purify for screening applications. This simple technique enables combinatorial polymer synthesis in microtiter plates on the benchtop without the need of highly specialized synthesizers and at much lower volumes than is currently possible by any other technique.