, Volume 82, Issue 1, pp 425–441 | Cite as

Immobilized Enzyme Reactors: an Overview of Applications in Drug Discovery from 2008 to 2018

  • Angela De SimoneEmail author
  • Marina Naldi
  • Manuela Bartolini
  • Lara Davani
  • Vincenza Andrisano
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Rising Stars in Separation Science


The necessity to develop automated methods for the fast screening of new libraries of compounds and the identification of active entities from natural mixtures has led to an increasing interest in the development of immobilized enzyme reactors (IMERs). This strategy overcomes some drawbacks of the in-solution methods and is, therefore, very attractive in the drug discovery field. This review gives an overview of IMER applications in the last decade. The reported examples concern conventional columns as well as capillary reactors integrated in liquid chromatography or capillary electrophoresis systems, coupled to spectroscopic or mass spectrometry detectors. The experimental setups and main features as well as characterization of new active entities are discussed. As a result of the growing importance of compounds from natural sources in drug discovery, particular attention is given to IMERs developed to be used for the identification of bioactive compounds.

Graphical Abstract


Immobilized enzyme reactor Drug discovery Screening Natural compounds 



The authors receive no funds to develop this study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela De Simone
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marina Naldi
    • 2
    • 3
  • Manuela Bartolini
    • 2
  • Lara Davani
    • 1
  • Vincenza Andrisano
    • 1
  1. 1.Department for Life Quality StudiesAlma Mater Studiorum Università di BolognaRiminiItaly
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacy and BiotechnologyAlma Mater Studiorum Università di BolognaBolognaItaly
  3. 3.Center for Applied Biomedical Research (C.R.B.A.)S. Orsola-Malpighi HospitalBolognaItaly

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