LAB-ON-A-CHIP: A NOVEL PLATFORM FOR ENZYME CATALYZED POLYMERIZATION REACTIONS

Santanu Kundu,1 Atul S. Bhangale,1,2  William E. Wallace,1 Kathleen M. Flynn,1 Richard A. Gross,2 and Kathryn L. Beers1

1Polymers Division, National Institute of Standard and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899

2 Polytechnic Institute of NYU, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Application of  microreactor technologies enable improved safety, selectivity and yield in a range of chemical reactions in addition to new measurement methods that are often faster, cheaper and more accurate than traditional methods. In this study we have considered a model system, Candida antartica Lipase B (CAL B) catalyzed polycaprolactone synthesis from e-caprolactone.  CAL B was immobilized on polymethyl methacrylate support (Lewatit) and was loaded in the microchannel reactors.  We have studied the effect of retention time and reaction temperature on the molecular weight and polydispersity of polycaprolactone.    Raman spectroscopy and Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC) were used to characterize the percentage conversion of the reactants and molecular mass of the reaction products, respectively. We intend to compare and to understand the difference in polymerization reaction in batch mode and microreactor channel mode. Stability of the adsorbed enzyme on the hydrophobic support surfaces was also investigated using Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM).