Remediation of environmentally hazardous organophosphates by artificial metalloenzymes

Leonardo F. Serafim, Lukun Wang, Parth Rathee, Jiawen Yang, Hannah Sofia Frenk Knaul, Rajeev Prabhakar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Organophosphates constitute environmentally hazardous molecules that are commonly used in agriculture and various industries and as chemical warfare agents. They are extremely stable compounds with a half-life of up to thousands of years. Because of the lack of a protection against their harmful activities in the environment, recently intensive efforts have been made to design synthetic molecules for their hydrolytic degradation. These molecules include both peptidic (short peptides, three-stranded coiled coils, and four-helix bundles) and nonpeptidic (polyoxometalates, metal–organic frameworks, and organometallic complexes) compounds that are often inspired by the catalytic cores of hydrolytic enzymes. However, because of their structural simplicity, the current synthetic analogs are significantly less efficient than natural enzymes. They lack the effective combination of various chemical factors that provides enormous rate acceleration to enzymes. In this review, we discuss the recent progress made in the design of enzymatic mimics with potential applications in the decontamination of organophosphates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100529
JournalCurrent Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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