Conferring Natural-Derived Porous Microspheres with Surface Multifunctionality through Facile Coordination-Enabled Self-Assembly Process

In this study, multifunctional chitin microspheres are synthesized and utilized as a platform for multiple potential applications in enzyme immobilization, catalytic reduction and adsorption. Porous chitin microspheres with an average diameter of 111.5 μm and a porous architecture are fabricated through a thermally induced phase separation method. Then, the porous chitin microspheres are conferred with surface multifunctionality through facile coordination-enabled self-assembly of tannic acid (TA) and titanium (Ti<sup>IV</sup>) bis­(ammonium lactate)­dihydroxide (Ti–BALDH). The multipoint hydrogen bonds between TA and chitin microspheres confer the TA–Ti<sup>IV</sup> coating with high adhesion capability to adhere firmly to the surface of the chitin microspheres. In view of the biocompatibility, porosity and surface activity, the multifunctional chitin microspheres are used as carriers for enzyme immobilization. The enzyme-conjugated multifunctional porous microspheres exhibit high catalytic performance (102.8 U·mg<sup>–1</sup> yeast alcohol dehydrogenase). Besides, the multifunctional chitin microspheres also find potential applications in the catalytic reduction (e.g., reduction of silver ions to silver nanoparticles) and efficient adsorption of heavy metal ions (e.g., Pb<sup>2+</sup>) taking advantages of their porosity, reducing capability and chelation property.