First publication from our partners in Spain

Our partners Raul Perez-Jimenez and Ylenia María Jabalera Ruz from CICNanogune in Spain has contributed to the following work:

Enzymatic upgrading of nanochitin using an ancient lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase

Barandiaran, L., Alonso-Lerma, B., Reifs, A. et al. Enzymatic upgrading of nanochitin using an ancient lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase. Commun Mater 3, 55 (2022).


Numerous enzymes have the potential to upgrade biomass, converting it into high-tech materials for new applications. However, the features of natural enzymes often limit their use beyond chemical conversion of the substrate. The development of strategies for the enzymatic conversion of biomass into high-value materials may broaden the range of applications of enzymes and enzyme design techniques. A relevant case is lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase (LPMO), a class of enzymes that catalyzes the oxidative cleavage of glycosidic bonds. Here, we show that an ancestral LPMO can generate chitin nanocrystals. Physicochemical characterization of the chitin nanocrystals demonstrates modifications that make it superior compared to chitin obtained by chemical treatments. We show that the nanocrystals are suitable for controlled 2D and 3D cell cultures, as well as for engineering a biomatrix that combines with graphene oxide, forming a hybrid conductive bioink.