A Bloody Good Concept
The secret to better polymerization might be close to your heart
Joanna Cummings |
What? Researchers from Australia have shown that the chemicals found inside red blood cells can act as a catalyst for the synthesis of plastics.
How? In one of the more unexpected concoctions we’ve seen, Greg Qiao and his team from the University of Melbourne combined sheep’s blood and N,N’-dimethylacrylamide, before adding the enzyme glucose oxidase and leaving the mixture in a sealed vial. They then analyzed the mixture at intervals using proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) and size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), discovering that “smooth polymerization” was observed in under 45 minutes (1). Polymerization is triggered when glucose oxidase produces hydrogen peroxide – releasing hydroxyl radicals from the heme group.
Why? The researchers hope the technique could one day allow improved in vitro cell engineering.
Enjoy our FREE content!
Log in or register to read this article in full and gain access to The Analytical Scientist’s entire content archive. It’s FREE and always will be!
Login if you already created an account
Or register now - it’s free and always will be!
You will benefit from:
- Unlimited access to ALL articles
- News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
- Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Analytical Scientist magazine