Laccase-mediated grafting on lignocelluloses has gained considerable attention as an environmentally benign method to covalently modify wood, paper and cork. In recent decades this technique has also been employed to modify fibres with a polysaccharide backbone, such as cellulose or chitosan, to infer colouration, antimicrobial activity or antioxidant activity to the material. The scope of this approach has been further widened by researchers, who apply mediators or high redox potential laccases and those that modify synthetic polymers and proteins. In all cases, the methodology relies on one- or two-electron oxidation of the surface functional groups or of the graftable molecule in solution. However, similar results can very often be achieved through simple deposition, even after extensive washing. This unintended adsorption of the active substance could have an adverse effect on the durability of the applied coating. Differentiating between actual covalent binding and adsorption is therefore essential, but proves to be challenging. This review not only covers excellent research on the topic of laccase-mediated grafting over the last five to ten years, but also provides a critical comparison to highlight either the lack or presence of compelling evidence for covalent grafting.
- enzyme catalysis
- surface chemistry