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Making better use of enzymes: a new research project at Jacobs University

19.09.2018

In biocatalysis, enzymes are used to accelerate chemical reactions. This plays a role in many areas, such as the production of beer, wine and cheese or the pharmaceutical industry. A research project at the English-medium Jacobs University led by Marcelo Fernandez-Lahore, Professor of Biochemical Engineering, aims to create a novel platform for facilitating the further processing of a wide range of biological products. “Our Nanofacil project will drastically simplify the application and implementation of biocatalytic processes in industrial practice,” says Fernandez-Lahore.

Enzymes enable important (industrial) chemical transformations under very mild conditions. Companies need fewer organic solvents and hazardous chemicals, and their energy consumption is reduced.


Prof. Dr. Marcelo Fernandez-Lahore (left) with Senior Researcher Dr. Martin Kangwa

The use of enzymes therefore leads to more sustainable industrial practices. In particular, there is an increased demand for enzymes in the production of pharmaceuticals, flavors, fragrances and polymers.

Some time ago, scientists at Jacobs University developed a new way to apply the use of enzymes to industrial processes. This process is known as “nanoformulation”. Most enzymes are proteins; under production conditions they become unstable.

“Nanoformulation” makes enzymes more resistant and improves safety in production. The “Nanofacil” project follows on from this research. It is funded by the Central Innovation Program for SMEs of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy with around 175,000 euros over a period of three years. Two industrial partners from Germany and Finland are also involved.

About Jacobs University Bremen:
Studying in an international community. Obtaining a qualification to work on responsible tasks in a digitized and globalized society. Learning, researching and teaching across academic disciplines and countries. Strengthening people and markets with innovative solutions and advanced training programs. This is what Jacobs University Bremen stands for.

Established as a private, English-medium campus university in Germany in 2001, it is continuously achieving top results in national and international university rankings. Its almost 1,400 students come from more than 100 countries with around 80% having relocated to Germany for their studies. Jacobs University’s research projects are funded by the German Research Foundation or the EU Research and Innovation program as well as by globally leading companies.

For more information: www.jacobs-university.de
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Thomas Joppig | Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH
Corporate Communications & Public Relations
t.joppig@jacobs-university.de | Tel.: +49 421 200-4504

Commercial registry: Amtsgericht Bremen, HRB 18117
President / Chairman of the Executive Board (Vorsitzender der Geschäftsführung): Prof. Dr. Michael Hülsmann
Managing Director (Geschäftsführer): Dr. Michael Dubbert
Chairman of the Board of Governors (Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender): Prof. Dr. Antonio Loprieno

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Prof. Dr. Marcelo Fernandez-Lahore | Professor for Biochemical Engineering
m.fernandez-lahore@jacobs-university.de | Tel.: +49 421 200-3239

Thomas Joppig | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

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