Reversible-deactivation radical polymerizations (controlled radical polymerizations) have revolutionized and revitalized the field of polymer synthesis. While enzymes and other biologically derived catalysts have long been known to initiate free radical polymerizations, the ability of peroxidases, hemoglobin, laccases, enzyme-mimetics, chlorophylls, heme, red blood cells, bacteria, and other biocatalysts to control or initiate reversible-deactivation radical polymerizations has only been described recently. Here, the scope of biocatalytic atom transfer radical polymerizations (bioATRP), enzyme-initiated reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer radical polymerizations (bioRAFT), biocatalytic organometallic-mediated radical polymerizations (bioOMRP), and biocatalytic reversible complexation mediated polymerizations (bioRCMP) is critically reviewed, and the potential of these reactions for the environmentally friendly synthesis of precision polymers, for the preparation of functional nanostructures, for the modification of surfaces, and for biosensing is discussed.
- radical polymerization
- biocatalytic atom transfer radical polymerizations
- precision polymers