Zwitterionic Acrylate Monomers from Biosynthetic Pathway
A new biosynthetic pathway uses E. coli to synthesize acrylate monomers for potential use as anti-fouling agents. The zwitterionic monomer 2-acetylamidoacrylate has the potential to prevent biofouling in virtuallyall anti-biofouling polymer applications. Metabolic engineering first produces serine, which is then converted and dehydrated to 2-acetylamidoacrylate, which is then polymerized and hydrolyzed into a zwitterionic material.
Lower Cost, No Toxicity
Current solutions to biofouling suffer from high cost, low efficacy, and cause environmental damage. Using synthetic zwitterionic materials to make antifouling coatings requires complicated chemical synthesis and is cost-prohibitive for large-scale applications. Acrylate polymers are expensive to synthesize in bulk, and biocides are toxic to marine life. This technology produces zwitterionic acrylate monomers using a designed biological pathway in E. coli. The biosynthetic process effectively generates molecules with a unique combination of C/H/O/N inaccessible by conventional chemical synthesis, at lower cost than current methods and with no toxicity.
BENEFITS AND FEATURES:
- Biosynthetic process in Escherichia coli (E. coli)
- Zwitterionic acrylate monomers of varying carbon length
- Lower cost than current zwitterionic materials
- Functionally superior
- Expected to prevent adhesion
- Antifouling coatings industry
- Marine coatings - shipping and/or naval applications
- Implanted medical devices
- Household plumbing
PHASE OF DEVELOPMENT:
Concept. Initial pathway assembled in E. coli; 2‑acetylamidoacrylate monomer synthesized at 1 g/L in shake flask experiments and polymerization of zwitterionic monomer has been demonstrated. Antifouling properties need to be demonstrated.