Application L2104 Cover Biocatalysis for Practitioners

Compartmentalization in biocatalysis

Robert Kourist and Javier González‐Sabín

In: Biocatalysis for Practitioners: Techniques, Reactions and Applications

"Compartmentalization represents a fundamental tool to control complexity in nature. The biological compartmentalization and substrate channeling, as fundamental principles of life, create distinct microenvironments optimized for specific tasks in cells, enabling complex multienzyme reactions to proceed in a confined system. As a result, a long-standing goal of synthetic chemistry is mimicking the metabolic processes that facilitate the development of cost-efficient, sustainable multienzyme and multi-catalyst reaction sequences for production of valuable organic compounds. In recent years, the development of systems for the compartmentalization has led to ingenious strategies, from macroscopic approaches through temporal and spatial compartmentalization to microscopic approaches based on nanoreactors. The intense research in areas as diverse as synthetic biology, materials science, and both protein and medium engineering allows to anticipate exciting breakthroughs in this rising field in the coming years, especially with the prospect to meet the parameters of a manufacture setting."



  • “Tea bags showed easy catalyst recyclability and enabled to run the process at high substrate concentration (up to 339 mM). Later, Rother et al. combined the tea bags approach with the SpinChem rotating bed reactor […].”
  • “[…] Originally conceived for heterogeneous chemocatalysis, such reactor is compatible with other solid phases such as immobilized enzymes, encapsulated cells, and ion exchangers and minimizes mass transfer limitations and catalyst degradation.”

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