The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed and patented two technology methods to immobilise and stabilise enzymes for use in industrial processes.
CSIR biosciences enzyme technologies group research fellow Dr Dean Brady says that enzymes are favourable for use in processing as waste from enzyme reactions is biodegradable. Enzymes are used in bio- processing, which includes the making of foods and beverages, agroprocessing, and biocatalysis, which uses enzymes as catalysts in synthetic reactions for pharmaceuticals and other chemicals.
Enzymes are typically stabilised on bulky particulate resins, which is not optimal for volumetric productivity, says Brady.
The spherezyme method involves enzyme self-immobilisation. “We wanted to produce stabilised enzymes because they are not
naturally tough,” says Brady.
The spherezyme technology has been developed in collaboration with BioPAD and licensed to a local biotechnology company, ZA Biotech. CEO Dr Bob Gordon is exploring commercial application opportunities for the technology. BioPAD is a biotechnology regional innovation centre established by the Department of Science and Technology.
CSIR synthetic biology molecular biomaterials research group leader Dr Justin Jordaan says that the technologies developed through this research make the enzymes robust for industrial use. A complementary invention from this team is dendrispheres, a polymer matrix that can be used variously as a support for microbes, enzymes, or other proteins. Jordaan says that the dendrisphere is a support material that can provide exceptional levels of binding.
Edited by: Brindaveni Naidoo
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