Enzymes are proteins that catalyze chemical reactions. Unlike more traditional organic and inorganic catalysts, enzymes are large and fragile molecules, so over the years, scientists and engineers have found it more difficult to immobilize enzyme catalysts on easily separateable supports for use and re-use in a variety of technologies. Over the last decade, enzyme immobilization has become more important in industry, medicine, and biotechnology. This review will detail recent patents for techniques for enzyme immobilization, along with patents for chemical and biotechnological processes that can employ immobilized enzymes, which allow for the re-use of the enzymatic catalysts. These techniques include methods varying from physical adsorption and covalent attachment to entrapment in polymers and sol-gels. These techniques have shown value in the development of biosensors, bioprocessing for the chemical industry and the pharmaceutical industry, and bioremediation.
Keywords: Enzyme immobilization, entrapment, physical adsorption, crosslinking, covalent binding, biosensors, biotechnology, biocatalysis
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