Horseradish peroxidase as a catalyst for atom transfer radical polymerization

Severin J. Sigg, Farzad Seidi, Kasper Renggli, Tilana B. Silva, Gergely Kali, Nico Bruns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Citations (Scopus)


The hemoprotein horseradish peroxidase (HRP) catalyzes the polymerization of N-isopropylacrylamide with an alkyl bromide initiator under conditions of activators regenerated by electron transfer atom transfer radical polymerization (ARGET ATRP) in the absence of any peroxide. This is a novel activity of HRP, which we propose to name ATRPase activity. Bromine-terminated polymers with polydispersity indices (PDIs) as low as 1.44 are obtained. The polymerization follows first order kinetics, but the evolution of molecular weight and the PDI upon increasing conversion deviate from the results expected for an ATRP mechanism. Conversion, M̄ n and PDI depend on the pH and on the concentration of the reducing agent, sodium ascorbate. HRP is stable during the polymerization and does not unfold or form conjugates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1710-1715
Number of pages6
JournalMacromolecular Rapid Communications
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2011


  • atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP)
  • catalysts
  • enzymes
  • green chemistry
  • heme proteins


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