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Immobilization of Water-Soluble HRP within Poly‑N‑isopropylacrylamide Microgel Particles for Use in Organic Media

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journal contribution
posted on 23.12.2013, 00:00 by Kornelia Gawlitza, Radostina Georgieva, Neslihan Tavraz, Janos Keller, Regine von Klitzing
In the present work, the immobilization of enzymes within poly-N-isopropylacrylamide (p-NIPAM) microgels using the method of solvent exchange is applied to the enzyme horseradish peroxidase (HRP). When the solvent is changed from water to isopropanol, HRP is embedded within the polymer structure. After the determination of the immobilized amount of enzyme, an enhanced specific activity of the biocatalyst in isopropanol can be observed. Karl Fischer titration is used to determine the amount of water within the microgel particles before and after solvent exchange, leading to the conclusion that an “aqueous cage” remains within the polymer structure. This represents the driving force for the immobilization due to the high affinity of HRP for water. Beside, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) images show that HRP is located within the microgel network after immobilization. This gives the best conditions for HRP to be protected against chemical and mechanical stress. We were able to transfer a water-soluble enzyme to an organic phase by reaching a high catalytic activity. Hence, the method of solvent exchange displays a general method for immobilizing enzymes within p-NIPAM microgels for use in organic solvents. With this strategy, enzymes that are not soluble in organic solvents such as HRP can be used in such polar organic solvents.