Dr. Richard Gross from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to speak at the Thermal Biology Seminar
- Monday, March 5, 2018 from 3:10pm to 4:00pm
- Plant BioScience Building room 108
Cell-free lipase biocatalysis, due to the mild temperatures at which they catalyzed reactions as well as their extraordinary selectivity, provide numerous benefits when synthesizing polyesters, polycarbonates and polyamides. As an example, the use of lipase-catalyzed condensation polymerizations using multifunctional building blocks such as glycerol and sorbitol provide a versatile family of functional polymers. Crosslinking is avoided during lipase-catalyzed polymerizations due to the steric hinderance at active sites. Furthermore, mild polymerizations allow the incorporation along chains of chemically sensitive moieties. Biocatalysis using whole cells provides important new routes to biobased monomers and biosurfactants from renewable feedstocks. As an example, the biosynthesis and properties of modified sophorolipids will be discussed. Molecular editing of natural sophorolipids has been used to develop a library of low molar mass sophorolipid analogs. Examples will be given of how this approach allows the tuning of sophorolipid interfacial and biological properties will be discussed. The deconstruction of PET using Leaf Branch Cutinase obtained from metagenomics will be discussed. Finally, progress in developing mild and efficient protease-catalyzed routes to peptides will be introduced.