Encapsulation of enzymes in metal ion-surfactant nanocomposites for catalysis in highly polar solvents
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A soft protective shell could help nature’s catalysts find use in the chemical industry, new research suggests.
Enzymes are exceptionally good catalysts in a bio-friendly environment, but can rapidly degrade under industrial conditions. Researchers have previously tried encapsulating enzymes within rigid metal ion containing, inorganic nanoparticles to improve their stability.
Enzymes are soft, flexible structures, so researchers at Nanjing Tech University have developed a more sympathetic encapsulation material. They mixed metal ions with organic surfactant molecules to produce soft nanocomposite particles to encapsulate their enzymes.
The nanocomposite particles proved highly effective under test reaction conditions. In harsh, highly polar organic solvents, encapsulating the enzymes this way increased the reaction rate 4-fold compared to the free enzyme. After the reaction, the encapsulated enzymes could be repeatedly collected and used again.
- Chemical Communications 53, 3134–3137 (2017). doi: 10.1039/c7cc00607a
|Nanjing Tech University (NanjingTech), China||1.00|