Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology

, Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 545–556 | Cite as

Optimization in the immobilization of penicillin G acylase by entrapment in xerogel particles with magnetic properties

  • Susana Bernardino
  • Nídia Estrela
  • Vanessa Ochoa-Mendes
  • Pedro Fernandes
  • Luís P. Fonseca


Biocatalysis presents a sound alternative to chemical synthesis in the field of drug production, given the highly selective nature of biological catalysts. Penicillin G Acylase (PGA) from E. coli is currently used to hydrolyze penicillin G (PG) and catalyzes the synthesis of β-lactam antibiotics. In this work, particular emphasis is given to recent developments in penicillin G acylase immobilization, by entrapment simultaneously with nano-magnetic particles in a silica matrix. The sol–gel biocatalytic particles were prepared either by a conventional method (crushed powder) or by a more recent approach, based in an emulsion system using 150 mM AOT/isooctane, which allowed for the formation of spherical micro- and nanobeads. The effects on PGA activity of different sol–gel precursors, additives, enzyme concentration, aging, drying conditions and mechanical stability were evaluated. After these optimization studies, a mechanically stable carrier based on porous xerogels silica matrixes, starting from tetramethoxysilane (TMOS) with 65–67% PGA activity yield in these carriers allowed an immobilization yield of 74 mg protein g dry sol–gel −1 and 930 Ug dry sol–gel −1 for specific activity were obtained.


Penicillin G acylase Enzyme immobilization Sol–gel Entrapment Micro-emulsion Magnetic particles 



S. M. S. A. Bernardino, N. I. Estrela and P. Fernandes acknowledge Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portugal) for financial support in the form of the PhD grants SFRH/BD/30632/2006, SFRH/BD/18639/2004 and for a contract under Program Ciência 2007, respectively.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susana Bernardino
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Nídia Estrela
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Vanessa Ochoa-Mendes
    • 2
    • 3
  • Pedro Fernandes
    • 2
    • 3
  • Luís P. Fonseca
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.ESTM—School of Tourism and Maritime Technology, Marine Resources Research GroupPolytechnic Institute of LeiriaPenichePortugal
  2. 2.IBB—Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre for Biological and Chemical EngineeringInstituto Superior TécnicoLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Department of BioengineeringInstituto Superior TécnicoLisbonPortugal
  4. 4.IBB—Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre for Molecular and Structural BiomedicineUniversidade do AlgarveFaroPortugal

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