Use of Soft Materials for Enzyme Immobilization

Enzymes are typically immobilized for easy separation. Often, this takes place on (or in) soft materials such as alginate or agarose beads, or cross-linked enzyme aggregates.

These materials tend to have a low tolerance for pressure gradients, creating challenges for a fixed bed reactor. Also, the stirred tank reactor will quickly damage the soft materials due to their poor mechanical strength.

SpinChems' Rotating Bed Reactor (RBR) solves the issue of mechanical damage and circumvents the high pressure drops, giving researchers a tool to develop novel methods in advanced materials. Below are few applications where researchers have used soft materials for immobilization of enzymes.


  • The RBR was setup for in-situ formation, loading, and handling of alginate beads. Results showed that the use of the rotating bed reactor allowed easy collection, maturing, and washing of the alginate beads. It was possible to reduce the number of handling steps and to facilitate bead recycling. The beads showed no signs of physical wear after use in the RBR.
  • In further research performed at Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, the catalytic activity of L-asparaginase was increased by nearly 60% by combining enzyme immobilization in alginate beads with a rotating bed reactor, which reduced mass transfer limitations.

  • Production of hydroxytyrosol rich extract from Olea europaea leafs with enhanced biological activity was efficiently demonstrated by means of an RBR. The immobilized enzyme showed good stability over time in the RBR, while the enzyme beads were damaged mechanically in the STR. The RBR solved the problem of bead attrition, allowed the immobilized enzyme to be re-used, and thus provided superior total turnover numbers.
  • Production of recombinant choline oxidase and its application in betaine production was performed in an RBR. Reaction conditions such as pH and temperature were optimized and the enzymatic activity was measured for the reaction of choline to glycine betaine via betaine aldehyde.
  • Efficient synthesis of chiral lactones by encapsulated cells in a rotating bed reactor. A comparison of SpinChem® rotating bed reactor with traditional reaction set-ups was performed for a demanding biotransformation. SpinChem® RBR matched or outperformed the other systems and allowed 10 to 25-fold more time-efficient recycling of encapsulated cells.

Let SpinChem help you get started towards better, more efficient biocatalysis. Learn more about different RBRs and its technology. Get in touch with us today!

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