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Proceedings Paper

Coacervates as prebiotic chemical reactors
Author(s): Vera M. Kolb; Mercedes Swanson; Fredric M. Menger
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Paper Abstract

Coacervates are colloidal systems that are comprised of two immiscible aqueous layers, the colloid-rich layer, so-called coacervate, and the colloid-poor layer, so-called equilibrium liquid. Although immiscible, the two phases are both water-rich. Coacervates are important for prebiotic chemistry, but also have various practical applications, notably as transport vehicles of personal care products and pharmaceuticals. Our objectives are to explore the potential of coacervates as prebiotic chemical reactors. Since the reaction medium in coacervates is water, this creates a challenge, since most organic reactants are not water-soluble. To overcome this challenge we are utilizing recent Green Chemistry examples of the organic reactions in water, such as the Passerini reaction. We have investigated this reaction in two coacervate systems, and report here our preliminary results.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 October 2012
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8521, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XV, 85210E (24 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.928550
Show Author Affiliations
Vera M. Kolb, Univ. of Wisconsin-Parkside (United States)
Mercedes Swanson, Univ. of Wisconsin-Parkside (United States)
Fredric M. Menger, Emory Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8521:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XV
Richard B. Hoover; Gilbert V. Levin; Alexei Yu. Rozanov; Paul C. W. Davies, Editor(s)

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