Glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) emulsion-templated porous polymers (polyHIPEs) were prepared by thermal and photopolymerisation and derivatised with morpholine, tris(2-aminoethylamine) and a bisamino-PEG homobifunctional molecule. The extent of the functionalization reactions was investigated by a range of qualitative and quantitative techniques (FTIR, CHN analysis, titration, XPS, HR-MAS NMR spectroscopy, ninhydrin assay and Fmoc number determination) and was found to be excellent for small molecule amines (up to 89% conversion) but low for the reaction with PEG (2% conversion). This was ascribed to the high exclusion volume of the PEG chains in solution. Proteinase K (Pro K) was subsequently immobilized covalently onto the GMA polyHIPE material, both directly via reaction with surface epoxy groups and indirectly by activation of the pendent amine groups of PEGylated polyHIPE with glutaraldehyde then reductive amination with the enzyme. The activity of the supported enzymes was determined by a continuous electrochemical assay involving the hydrolysis of N-acetyl-l-tyrosine ethyl ester. The directly immobilized Pro K was found to have an activity of only 3.6 U/g whereas the activity of the enzyme immobilized via the PEG linker was much higher (up to 78 U/g).
- Chemical functionalization
- Porous polymers