The process of synthetic cellulose formation in an acetonitrile-buffer solvent system by enzymatic polymerization of ß-cellobiosyl fluoride monomer using cellulase as a catalyst was visualized by transmission electron microscopy. Synthetic cellulose could be observed as soon as 30 s after initiation of the polymerization. A micellar phase separation occurred at the initial stage of the reaction. Irregular aggregates of cellulose were formed at the boundary of the micellar particles, suggesting that the interface is the site of polymerization. The cellulose product after treatment with hot surfactant solution was strongly labeled with cellobiohydrolase I-gold complexes, indicating that the produced polymer is cellulose. The electron diffraction pattern of the product showed the typical pattern of crystal structure of cellulose II.
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