The adsorption of enzymes and other proteins onto water-insoluble, surface-active supports is probably the most economically attractive method of immobilization, for it is simple and inexpensive (McLaren, 1974). Adsorption is a physical phenomenon and, in principle, reversible in that both the enzyme and the support can be recovered unchanged. Adsorption of enzymes onto water-insoluble matrices is also the oldest documented method for immobilizing enzymes. As early as 1916, Griffin and Nelson (1916) immobilized invertase on activated charcoal and gelatinuous aluminum hydroxide. It is equally interesting to note that the first documented case of using an immobilized enzyme for industrial processing, the hydrolysis of N-acetyl-dl-amino acids by l-aminoacylases (Tosa et al., 1969a), also employs adsorption as the method of immobilization. Similarly, the latest and most significant commercial enterprise using an immobilized enzyme, glucose isomerase for the isomerization of glucose to fructose, entails adsorption of the catalyst onto the ion-exchange resin, DEAE-cellulose (Schnyder, 1974). At this moment, adsorption as a method of immobilization seems to be regaining wide acceptance.


Immobilize Enzyme Activate Charcoal Soluble Enzyme Enzyme Conjugate Adsorbed Enzyme 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oskar R. Zaborsky
    • 1
  1. 1.National Science FoundationUSA

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