Facile route to enzyme immobilization: Core-shell nanoenzyme particles consisting of well-defined poly(methyl methacrylate) cores and cellulase shells

Kin Man Ho, Xuepu Mao, Lianquan Gu, Pei Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


A one-step method for preparing cellulase-immobilized nanoparticles that consist of well-defined poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) cores and cellulase shells has been developed. The core-shell nanoparticles are synthesized from a direct graft copolymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA) from cellulase in an aqueous medium. Particle formation strongly depends on the surface nature of the cellulase (e.g., pH of reaction media) and MMA to cellulase weight ratio. Under optimized conditions, high MMA conversions (>90%) were achieved, and the PMMA-cellulase nanoparticles produced were very stable with narrow size distributions (Dv/Dn < 1.20). Particle sizes in the range between 80 and 124 nm (volume average diameter) could be tailored by a variation of cellulase concentration. Transmission electron microscopy micrographs revealed that the nanoparticle had a well-defined PMMA core which was evenly coated with cellulase shell. Study of cellulase activity of the PMMA-cellulase nanoparticles indicated that even though activity of immobilized cellulase on the nanoparticles was 41% less than that of the native cellulase after the polymerization, the immobilized cellulase showed improved properties such as broader working pH range and better thermal stability. Other important advantages of this approach include that the PMMA - cellulase nanoparticles could be produced in high concentrations (up to 18% w/w solids content) and the nanoparticles have thick and evenly distributed enzyme shells. Thus, this method may provide a new commercially viable route to the immobilization of thermally stable enzyme to form nanoenzyme particles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11036-11042
Number of pages7
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry

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