Research Article abstract

Nature Biotechnology 15, 789 - 793 (1997)

Biocatalytic plastics as active and stable materials for biotransformations

Ping Wang1, Maria V. Sergeeva1, Lilian Lim1 & Jonathan S. Dordick1, ,*

Enzyme-containing polymeric materials have been developed that have high activity and stability in both aqueous and organic media. These biocatalytic plastics, containing alpha-chymotrypsin and subtilisin Carlsberg, can contain up to 50% (w/w) total protein in plastic materials such as poly(methyl methacrylate, styrane, vinyl acetate, and ethyl vinyl ether). The activation achieved in organic solvents by incorporating proteases in plastic matrices allows for the efficient synthesis of peptides, and sugar and nucleoside esters. The marriage of enzyme technology with polymer chemistry opens up an array of unique applications for plastic enzymes, including active and stable biocatalysts in paints, coatings, resins, foams, and beads, as well as membranes, fibers, and tubings.

  1. 1Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, and Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242.
  2. *e-mail: