Polymerization reactions are commonly effected by exposing monomer formulations to some initiation stimulus such as elevated temperature, light, or a chemical reactant. Increasingly, these polymerization reactions are mediated by enzymes―catalytic proteins―owing to their reaction efficiency under mild conditions as well as their environmental friendliness. The utilization of enzymes, particularly oxidases and peroxidases, for generating radicals via reduction-oxidation mechanisms is especially common for initiating radical-mediated polymerization reactions, including vinyl chain-growth polymerization, atom transfer radical polymerization, thiol–ene step-growth polymerization, and polymerization via oxidative coupling. While enzyme-mediated polymerization is useful for the production of materials intended for subsequent use, it is especially well-suited for in situ
polymerizations, where the polymer is formed in the place where it will be utilized. Such polymerizations are especially useful for biomedical adhesives and for sensing applications.
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