Biomimetic control of product selectivity using templated nanogels as mimics of Aldolase type I enzymes

P. Bonomi, D. Carboni, M. Resmini
Queen Mary University of London, UK

Keywords: molecular imprinting, nanogels, templating


The aldol condensation is a very important reaction in organic chemistry that leads to formation of a new C-C bond. Catalysis of this reaction has been the subject of many studies and one of the key targets has been the control of the selectivity. We report our findings on the synthesis and characterisation of templated nanogels, with particle size less than 50nm, that contain a derivative of proline, and that show excellent product selectivity selectivity. A comparative study with the free catalyst demonstrates that the presence of the polymeric matrix is able to enhance the overall yield of the reaction, lower the catalytic load and more significantly inhibit the formation of the side product, therefore increasing the chemical yield of the aldol, the desired product.