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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 22, Number 8
BKCSDE 22(8)
August 20, 2001 

Chain Orientation and Degradation Behavior of Poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate] Lamellar Crystals
Won-Ki Lee, Nam-Ju Jo, Chang-Sik Ha
Poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate], Lamellar crystals, Alkaline and enzymatic attacks, Ridge.
Topological changes caused by the alkaline and enzymatic attacks of solution-grown, chain-folded lamellar crystals (SGCs) of poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate] P(3HB) have been studied in order to investigate the chain-folding structure in P(3HB) crystal regions. NaOH and an extracellular PHB depolymerase purified from Alcaligenes faecalis T1 were used for alkaline and enzymatic hydrolysis, respectively. The measurements were performed on crystals attached to a substrate which is inactive to degradation mediums. Both alkaline and enzymatic attacks lead to a breakup of the lamellar crystals along the crystallographic b-axis during initial erosion. Since hydrolysis preferentially occurs in amorphous regions, this morphological result reflects relatively loosely packed chains in core parts of lamellar crystals. Additionally, it was supported by the ridge formation along the b-axis in the lamellar crystals after thermal treatment at a low temperature because of the thermally sensitive nature of the loosely packed chains in lamellar crystals. However, the alkaline hydrolysis accompanied the chain erosions or scissions in quasi-regular folded lamellar surfaces due to smaller size of alkaline ions in comparison to the enzyme, resulting in the decrease of molecular weight.
872 - 876
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