Molecular design of biodegradable functional polymers, 5: Enzymatic degradation of polycarboxylates containing vinyl alcohol blocks as biodegradable segment

Shuichi Matsumura, Youko Shimagami, Minako Kanamaru, Kazunobu Toshima, Masao Tsuji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Poly(sodium carboxylate)s containing vinyl alcohol blocks were prepared, and their microbial degradability and the poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) dehydrogenase activity as a function of vinyl alcohol block length in the polymer chain were analyzed. A clear relationship between the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) biodegradability using the activated sludge and the relative activity of PVA dehydrogenase of a PVA-assimilating strain, Alcaligenes faecalis KK314, was observed. A vinyl alcohol block length of about 7 monomer units corresponds to the minimum chain length of the vinyl alcohol block length which acts as a biodegradable segment in the poly[(disodium fumarate)-co-(vinyl alcohol)]. The enzymatic cleavability of polycarboxylates containing vinyl alcohol blocks was estimated using the cell-free extracts of a PVA-assimilating microbial strain, A. faecalis KK314, as the PVA-cleaving enzyme source for both PVA dehydrogenase and hydrolase. The molecular weight of the polycarboxylates was reduced depending on the vinyl alcohol block length, and a similar molecular weight reduction tendency was observed with respect to the BOD values and PVA dehydrogenase activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2291-2305
Number of pages15
JournalMacromolecular Chemistry and Physics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Jul


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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