Facile Immobilization of Enzymes

Facile Immobilization of Enzymes

Technology Description


Immobilized enzymes have an advantage over free enzymes in solution in that they can be used repeatedly and easily removed from the reaction mixture after completion. However, in certain cases the immobilization substrate or support may have a significant negative influence on the catalytic activity of the immobilized enzymes. Researchers at Stellenbosch University have developed an innovative enzyme-polymer conjugate, which retains catalytic activity of the immobilized enzyme. The enzyme-polymer conjugate may be used as a recognition element in biosensors, as a robust bio catalytic agent in a biotechnological process, or for protecting a surface from biofouling.


The invention relates to an enzyme-polymer conjugate comprising a styrene maleic anhydride (SMA) polymeric substrate and having one or more hydrolase enzymes, such as amylase, protease and/or galactosidase, immobilized thereon via a covalent bond. The enzyme-polymer compound can be spun into nanofibers for the production of membranes or it may be formed into a textile, a coating formulation, a nanoparticle, a microparticle, a solid bead or an extruded sheet.


•  Can be provided in various forms such as a resin, slurry, solution, suspension, electrospun membrane, fibres, microbeads etc.

•  Commercially available base polymer

•  Easily mass produced


• Food and beverage

• Chemical, petrochemical and   biodiesel production

• Pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical      manufacturing

• Water and wastewater membrane treatment

• Biosensors

• Antimicrobial stents

• Bioremediation

• Manufacturers of polymeric resin catalysts

• Packaging

Stellenbosch University is interested in licensing and/or co-development and commercialization of this technology.


Easy separation of enzymes from the product

Retained activity of immobilized enzyme after immobilisation and repeated use

Cost benefits:

• Recovery and recycling of enzymes allowing for the repeated use of expensive enzymes.
• Easily mass produced using a simple chemical modification of a commercially available base polymer.

No leaching of enzyme

Co-immobilization of enzymes can allow for cascade reactions to be carried out in the same reactor allowing optimization of process operations.





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