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Laccase-catalyzed poly(tyrosine) grafting improves the performance of wool
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  • Yu Li,
  • Jennifer Noro,
  • Jie Li,
  • Carla Silva,
  • Jing Su,
  • Artur Cavaco-Paulo
Jennifer Noro
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Carla Silva
University of Minho
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Jing Su
Jiangnan University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Artur Cavaco-Paulo
Univ. Minho
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The laccase-assisted grafting of poly(tyrosine) was performed aiming to impart shrink-resistant properties to the wool materials. Laccase was able to efficiently catalyze the oxidation of tyrosine into dityrosine. When the reaction was performed using poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) as template, the tyrosine oxidation gave rise to differentiated oxidation products, including di-, tri- and tetratyrosine, promoting also a higher grafting onto the wool fibers. The characterization of the grafted wool fibers and fabrics revealed some loss of crystallinity (about 4% of crystallization index) and thermal resistance (decreasing from 232 ºC to 224 ºC) resulting from the grafting process. However, the new bonds established between the new oxidation products and the amino groups of the wool, promoted an improvement, not only of the shrinkage properties (1.87% of area shrinkage), but also of their mechanical behavior (increasing by 45.28%). The strategy herein presented demonstrated potentiality to be applied as a “green” process for wool anti-shrinkage without compromising the fibers’ performance.