Methods & Applications of Enzyme & Whole Cell Immobilization
(Advantages and Disadvantages of Enzyme Immobilization; Matrix/Supports Used in Enzyme Immobilization)
What is enzyme immobilization?
Immobilization is defined as the imprisonment of cell or enzyme in a distinct support or matrix. The support or matrix on which the enzymes are immobilized allows the exchange of medium containing substrate or effector or inhibitor molecules. The practice of immobilization of cells is very old and the first immobilized enzyme was amino acylase of Aspergillus oryzae for the production of L-amino acids in Japan.
Advantages of immobilized enzymes:
(1). Increased functional efficiency of enzyme
(2). Enhanced reproducibility of the process they are undertaking
(3). Reuse of enzyme
(4). Continuous use of enzyme
(5). Less labour input in the processes
(6). Saving in capital cost and investment of the process
(7). Minimum reaction time
(8). Less chance of contamination in products
(9). More stability of products
(10). Stable supply of products in the market
(11). Improved process control
(12). High enzyme substrate ratio
Disadvantages of enzyme immobilization:
(1). Even though there are many advantages of immobilized enzymes, there are some disadvantages also.
(2). High cost for the isolation, purification and recovery of active enzyme (most important disadvantage)
(3). Industrial applications are limited and only very few industries are using immobilized enzymes or immobilized whole cells.