Redox active polymers have been extensively developed as platforms for bioelectrocatalytic applications due to their properties as matrices allowing the immobilization and efficient electrical connection of redox enzymes with electrodes. However, most of the synthesis of redox active polymers is carried out through the chemical modification of fossil fuel based polymer backbones. ChitoLogEn expands the synthesis and study of redox active polymers by using chitosan as a biobased polymer backbone alternative. ChitoLogEn takes advantage of the remarkable properties of chitosan which makes it an ideal candidate for the synthesis of redox active polymers including: chemical functionalities for its derivatization, biocompatibility, its ability to form films, biodegradability, between others.
Objectives and project plan
The aim of the exploratory phase of ChitoLogEn is the synthesis and characterization of a library of new chitosan based redox-active hydrogels. Chitosan, as a derivative of the second most abundant polymer in nature – chitin, is selected as a promising biobased candidate which can be easily derivatized for the attachment of redox mediators using click chemistry. A broad redox potential window is aimed for, allowing the ChitoLogEn application on several bioelectrochemical processes.
Hydrogen oxidation (energy conversion) and NADP+ reduction (bioelectrosynthesis) will be the first model applications of the project.
ChitoLogEn aims at the replacement of fossil fuel based redox polymers through the use of chitosan as a biobased alternative. The extensive application profile of redox polymers in bioelectrocatalysis makes them promising scaffolds towards the transition to a biobased economy where applications in biosensors, renewable electricity generation, as well as in the bioelectrosynthesis of valuable chemicals can be targeted.