Enhancing Enzyme Immobilization on Carbon Nanotubes via Metal-Organic Frameworks for Large-Substrate Biocatalysis

Sunanda Neupane, Kristen Patnode, Hui Li, Kwaku Baryeh, Guodong Liu, Jinlian Hu, Bingcan Chen, Yanxiong Pan, Zhongyu Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


Biocatalysis of large-sized substrates finds wide applications. Immobilizing the involved enzymes on solid supports improves biocatalysis yet faces challenges such as enzyme structural perturbation, leaching, and low cost-efficiencies, depending on immobilization strategies/matrices. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are attractive matrices but challenged by enzyme leaching (physical adsorption) or perturbation (covalent linking). Zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) overcome these issues. However, our recent study [J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2018, 140, 16032-16036] showed reduced cost-efficiency as enzymes trapped below the ZIF surfaces cannot participate in biocatalysis; the enzyme-ZIF composites are also unstable under acidic conditions. In this work, we demonstrate the feasibility of using ZIFs to immobilize enzymes on CNT surfaces on two model enzymes, T4 lysozyme and amylase, both of which showed negligible leaching and retained catalytic activity under neutral and acidic conditions. To better understand the behavior of enzymes on CNTs and CNT-ZIF, we characterized enzyme orientation on both matrices using site-directed spin-labeling (SDSL)-electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), which is immune to the complexities caused by CNT and ZIF background signals and enzyme-matrix interactions. Our structural investigations showed enhanced enzyme exposure to the solvent compared to enzymes in ZIFs alone; orientation of enzymes in matrices itself is directly related to substrate accessibility and, therefore, essential for understanding and improving catalytic efficiency. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time ZIFs and one-pot synthesis are employed to anchor large-substrate enzymes on CNT surfaces for biocatalysis. This is also the first report of enzyme orientation on the CNT surface and upon trapping in CNT-ZIF composites. Our results are essential for guiding the rational design of CNT-ZIF combinations to improve enzyme stabilization, loading capacity, and catalytic efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12133-12141
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2019


  • antimicrobial materials
  • carbon nanotubes
  • enzyme immobilization
  • EPR spectroscopy
  • starch degradation
  • zeolitic imidazolate framework

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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