Enzymatic coating of lignocellulosic surfaces with polyphenols



Upgrading of the surface characteristics could enhance the bulk properties of naturally abundant fiber-forming materials for better performance or create new value-added products. Laccase can induce cross-linkage and covalent coupling of low molecular weight compounds onto lignocellulosic surfaces. For this purpose the 38-kDa laccase from Trametes hirsuta was purified and characterized. The best conditions for laccase-induced coating of flax fibers were determined. This evaluation was based on the obtained coloration and color depth. A screening was carried out with different phenols for their potential as monomers for enzyme-catalyzed polymerization resulting in a coating with antibacterial performance. While all the methoxyphenols showed different coloration with weak fastness properties, bacterial growth of Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus was reduced significantly using ferulic acid and hydroquinone. Using laccase-induced coupling and polymerization, multi-functionality of the lignocellulosic surface, such as coloration and antimicrobial performance, was achieved, which depended on the nature of the applied phenolic monomer.