Catalytically Active Inclusion Bodies: New Carrier-Free Enzyme Immobilizates for Biocatalysis



Robin Lamm

Scientific Staff


+49 (0) 241 80 23568


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The acceptance of biocatalysts in synthetic chemistry as well as their use in industrial applications is still limited. Commercially available biocatalysts are often of low purity/activity and, thus not suitable for synthetic chemistry. Enzyme production at larger scale is impeded by laborious and expensive (chromatographic) purification methods. Enzyme immobilization steps for catalyst reuse and stabilization are laborious and hence expensive.

Generic methods have to be developed to gain access to a broad and systematically organized toolbox of different biocatalysts in a stable and easy-to-handle format. At the same time, those methods should allow their cheap and simple upscaling to enable economic biotransformations at industrial scale.

At the Institute of Molecular Enzyme Technology (Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf) a new method for the production of carrier and cell-free enzyme immobilizate was developed. It enforces the formation of catalytically-active enzyme aggregates so-called inclusion bodies (CatIBs) which accumulate in high concentration as aggregates insoluble in water and organic solvents and can be purified by a cheap and easy 2-step procedure without the need for any chromatographic steps. CatIBs represent functional biomaterials with potential applications in both synthetic chemistry and chemical industry.

The chair of biochemical engineering deals with the optimization of catIB production using RAMOS and BioLector devices. Information gathered will be evaluated with respect to scale-up to bioreactor scale.