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Faculty of Biology, Chemistry & Earth Sciences

Macromolecular Chemistry II – Prof. Dr. Andreas Greiner & Prof. Dr. Seema Agarwal

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Efficient Synthesis and Wetting Characteristics of Amphiphilic Galactose-PLA Block Copolymers: A Potential Additive for the Accelerated Biodegradation of Micro‐ and Nanoplastics


Lisa-Cathrin Leitner, Rika Schneider, Thomas Steiner, Martina H. Stenzel, Ruth Freitag, Andreas Greiner

Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics 2022 doi:10.1002/macp.202100431

The contamination of wastewater by microplastic particles (MPs) is an unresolved environmental problem. In order to resolve this problem, a concept is developed for the microbial remediation of MPs. To realize this concept, degradable block copolymers are required, which adhere on MP surfaces and contain segments of carbohydrate moieties (here galactose) for the attraction of degrading microbes and accelerated biofilm formation. Therefore, in this study, a versatile synthesis route for amphiphilic carbohydrate block copolymers from poly(d,l-lactic acid) (PLA) and galactose moieties is presented. The properties of the block copolymers are investigated by thermal analysis, as well as regarding their colloidal properties, their adhesion behavior on MP surfaces, and their potential for support of microbial growth (using Lacticaseibacillus zeae).

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