Biomacromolecules, Vol.22, No.2, 918-926, 2021
Substrate Engineering in Lipase-Catalyzed Selective Polymerization of D-/L-Aspartates and Diols to Prepare Helical Chiral Polyester
The synthesis of optically pure polymers is one of the most challenging tasks in polymer chemistry. Herein, Novozym 435 (Lipase B from Candida antarctica, immobilized on Lewatit VP OC 1600)-catalyzed polycondensation between D-/L-aspartic acid (Asp) diester and diols for the preparation of helical chiral polyesters was reported. Compared with D-Asp diesters, the fast-reacting L-Asp diesters easily reacted with diols to provide a series of chiral polyesters containing N-substitutional L-Asp repeating units. Besides amino acid configuration, N-substituent side chains and the chain length of diols were also investigated and optimized. It was found that bulky acyl N-substitutional groups like N-Boc and N-Cbz were more favorable for this polymerization than small ones probably due to competitively binding of these small acyl groups into the active site of Novozym 435. The highest molecular weight can reach up to 39.S X 10(3) g/mol (M-w, D = 1.64). Moreover, the slow-reacting D-Asp diesters were also successfully polymerized by modifying the substrate structure to create a "nonchiral" condensation environment artificially. These enantiocomplementary chiral polyesters are thermally stable and have specific helical structures, which was confirmed by circular dichroism (CD) spectra, scanning electron microscope (SEM), and molecular calculation.