Scientists at the Department of Energys Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have successfully immobilized enzymes while simultaneously enhancing their activity and stability, opening up new possibilities for using tailored nanoporous materials. The findings, reported in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society (available online Aug. 28), could enable the development of novel sensor and decontamination systems for homeland security, environmental protection and energy generation as well as new industrial chemicals and separations.
"For decades, scientists have been searching for ways to immobilize soluble enzymes with a variety of solid materials. But the results have been disappointing because only small amounts of the immobilized enzymes show any biological activity," said Eric Ackerman, PNNL molecular biologist. "For the first time, we have immobilized an enzyme at high concentrations in a way that actually enhances its stability and activity."
In lab tests, PNNL scientists nearly doubled the activity levels of an enzyme called organophosphorus hydrolase, known for its potential for biosensing and decontaminating poisonous agents.
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