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Book Review Polymer Synthesis. By P. Rempp and E. W. Merrill

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The instructional style of the book makes it easier for
the newcomer to biotechnology to quickly and easily familiarize himself with the subject matter, so as to gain an
understanding of the field o r assimilate new knowledge.
For those already working in the field this book will serve
as a work of reference, and it is therefore suitable as a n
addition to one’s personal library. The good organization
of the contents and the excellent typographic presentation
contribute to this favorable impression. As a reviewer I
have read this book with interest, as the text is clear, comprehensible, and very readable in style. In scarcely 250
pages it is, of course, only possible to present a small section of the field of biotechnology. Those who wish to go
into the subject in greater depth will need’to consult more
detailed works. If this book should later form the basis for
a considerably more extensive work, it is to be hoped that
its good qualities will not be lost in the “scale-up”. I wish
to recommend this book, though its price gives some cause
for concern, the ratio of usefulness to price being very unfavorable compared with other textbooks.
Gunnar Pommerening [NB 739 IE]
Kernforschungsanlage Jiilich
Polymer Synthesis. By P. Rempp and E. W. Merrill. Huthig
& Wepf Verlag, Heidelberg 1986. 315 pp., bound, DM
96.00.--ISBN 3-85739-1 16-2
This textbook has arisen out of the notes for lectures
given by the two authors during the past twelve years in
the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As the title indicates, it is
principally concerned with polymer synthesis. Problems of
characterization (structure and properties), and the physico-chemical aspects of polymer science, are dealt with only
insofar as they are important in synthesis.
The authors have divided the writing between them. P.
Rempp has prepared the first part of the book, which is
concerned with polymer synthesis on a laboratory scale. It
deals with reaction mechanisms, kinetic aspects, and their
consequences as regards molecular weight distribution and
molecular structure. E . W. Merrill has written the second
part of the book, dealing with industrial polymerization
processes, in which heterogeneous systems and continuous
processes assume special importance.
The first part of the book follows the classical pattern of
subdivision of an excellent lecture entitled “Introduction
to Macromolecular Chemistry”. After a general chapter introducing the basic concepts, there follows a relatively
short section on addition polymerization. Next come chapters on free radical polymerization (including copolymerization), anionic and cationic polymerization (including polymerization-depolymerization equilibria), and finally stereospecific polymerization. The book concludes with chapters on chemical reactions involving polymers, and on
functional polymers, including block and graft copolymers
and model networks.
The second part of the book is concerned with reactors
and processes for the homogeneous phase and rnultiphase
free radical polymerization (including suspension polymerization and emulsion polymerization), heterogeneous
ionic polymerization, reaction injection molding, and polymerization in the presence of heterogeneous catalysts. This
part of the book is unusual for a textbook, at least in its
orientation towards industrial processes, though in Germany too this ought to be an essential part of a training in
macromolecular chemistry. Here one finds descriptions
not only of the polymerization of ethylene with heterogeneous catalysts in the fluidized bed process, but also of the
manufacture of a glass fiber reinforced polyester and of
motor tires.
Appendices are provided which, for example, make it
easier to understand the derivation of molecular weight
distribution functions. Problems included at the ends of
the chapters, in the well-established style of American textbooks, allow the reader to test the knowledge which he has
gained. Altogether this is a useful and convenient book,
but one which regrettably includes no references to original literature, nor to material for further reading. Surprising is the small number of polymer pioneers’ names the
authors require.
Hartwig Hocker [NB 834 IE]
Lehrstuhl fur Textilchemie
und Makromolekulare Chemie,
RWTH Aachen (FRG)
Affinity Chromatography: A Practical Approach. Edited by
P. D . G. Dean, W. S . Johnson, and F. A . Middle. IRL
Press, Oxford 1985. xv, 215 pp., paperback, L 11.00.ISBN 0-904 147-71- 1
As a result of the progress in genetic engineering, effective methods for separation of proteins are becoming increasingly important. In addition to the conventional
methods of ion exchange and gel chromatography, HPLC
has in recent years come into use as a preparative technique to an ever greater extent. Affinity chromatography,
on the other hand, plays only a subsidiary role, as it has
hitherto been regarded as a complicated technique which
is only useful in special cases.
These reservations concerning affinity chromatography
are certainly not justified, for it is an outstandingly effective method, and there are many proteins whose isolation
could not have been performed without it. The principle of
affinity chromatography is very simple. Specific enzyme
inhibitors, ligands or antibodies are covalently bonded to a
gel matrix. Under optimal conditions only the desired protein then bonds to the column, with the result that a very
high degree of enrichment can be obtained in a single stage
of purification. Affinity chromatography has become an
indispensable tool for isolating proteins which occur in
very low concentrations and those that are attached to
membranes. It is also of great interest as a means of isolating proteins made by genetic engineering methods, since
here the separation of the desired protein from a mixture
of intermediate products, which have the same amino-acid
sequence but different chain folding, can be achieved very
neatly, and often in a single step, by using a suitable ligand
or antibody which is bonded to the gel matrix.
Against this background the book under review is
greatly to be welcomed. It is a strongly application-orientated handbook which includes a reasonable amount of directly applicable instructional content, while not neglecting the theoretical aspects, and it forms a good contribution to making affinity chromatography more widely
known. The book is divided into eight main chapters, and
consists of contributions from 25 authors. It is to the credit
of the three editors that the book nevertheless reads well,
and there are only a few instances of repetition.
The first chapter is a useful survey of the more important gel matrices now in common use, with their properties
and methods of preparation. In most cases, though, it is
more sensible and economical to buy ready prepared gel
Angew Chem. Ini Ed. Engl. 26 (1987) No. 10
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polymer, synthesis, book, merrill, review, rempp
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