Article in Chemistryworld
Spinach chlorophyll activates polymer production line
Chemistryworld 8 December 2014
by Elisabeth Ratcliffe
Inspired by nature, scientists in Australia have united light and chlorophyll to generate a range of polymers that have biomedical applications.
During photosynthesis, chlorophyll is activated by visible light, and an electron is promoted from its ground state to an excited state. In plants, this excited electron goes on to react with carbon dioxide and water, via photoinduced electron transfer (PET). However, in the system devised by Cyrille Boyer and colleagues at the University of New South Wales, the excited electron is donated to a monomer, generating a radical, which then goes on to further react and generate polymers through a process known as living radical polymerisation.