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RevistaJournal of Materials Chemistry B

Polyethylenimine: A very useful ionic polymer in the design of immobilized enzyme biocatalysts

Autores:Roberto Fernandez-Lafuente
Grupos de investigación:Optimización de biocatalizadores y bioprocesos enzimáticos
Jose J. Virgen-Ortíz1, José C.S. dos Santos2, Ángel Berenguer-Murcia3, Oveimar Barbosa4, Rafael C. Rodrigues5, Roberto Fernandez-Lafuente 6,*
1CONACYT - Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, A.C. (CIAD) - Consorcio CIDAM, Km. 8 Antigua Carretera a Pátzcuaro s/n, 58341 Morelia, Michoacán, México.
2Instituto de Engenharias e Desenvolvimento Sustentável, Universidade da Integração Internacional da Lusofonia Afro-Brasileira, CEP 62785-000, Acarape, CE, Brazil.
3Instituto Universitario de Materiales, Departamento de Química Inorgánica, Universidad de Alicante, Campus de San Vicente del Raspeig, Ap. 99 - 03080 Alicante, Spain.
4Departamento de Química, Facultad de Ciencias. Universidad del Tolima, Ibagué, Colombia.
5Biocatalysis and Enzyme Technology Lab, Institute of Food Science and Technology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500, P.O. Box 15090, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
6 ICP-CSIC. Campus UAM-CSIC. Cantoblanco. 28049 Madrid. Spain.

This review discusses the possible roles of polyethylenimine (PEI) in the design of improved immobilized biocatalysts from diverse perspectives. This includes their use to activate supports and immobilize enzymes via ion exchange, as well as to improve immobilized enzymes by coating with PEI. PEI is a polymer containing primary, secondary and tertiary amino groups, having a strong anion exchange capacity under a broad range of conditions, and the capability to chemically react with different moieties on either enzyme or support. Also, as a multifunctional polymer, it has been modified stepwise to introduce different functionalities in the same polymer. This polymer (in combination with other anionic ones) permits the generation of “saline” environments around enzyme molecules, improving enzyme stability in the presence of hydrophobic compounds. The use of PEI as a physical glue useful to crosslink enzymes subunits in multimeric enzymes, monomeric enzymes immobilized via physical interactions or production of enzyme multilayers will be specially emphasized as new open avenues for enzyme coimmobilization. The coimmobilization of enzymes and cofactors using PEI may become one of the future developments allowed through an adequate use of this polymer and new pathways towards the design of enzyme combi-catalysts for their use in cascade reactions. Some unexplored but suggested uses derived from the properties of PEI are also proposed in the review, like the use of the buffering power of this multifunctional polymer to avoid pH gradients inside the biocatalyst particle. Thus, although PEI has been a largely popular polymer in biocatalysts design, it looks that a long and in some cases almost unexplored road lies ahead.
Palabras clave:multimeric enzymes, cascade reactions, generation of nanoenvironments, physical crosslinking, coimmobilization of enzymes and cofactors, CLEAs crosslinking
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