Immobilized β-lactamase on Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles for degradation of β-lactam antibiotics in wastewater

  • X. J. Gao
  • X. J. Fan
  • X. P. Chen
  • Z. Q. GeEmail author
Original Paper


The emergence of antibiotics residues in pharmaceutical industrial wastewater has been a significant environment problem. However, current methods of treating antibiotic-polluted wastewater are inefficient, of high cost and time-consuming. In this study, highly effective enzymatic Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles were developed, which is extremely simple and can degrade antibiotics in a fast manner at a low cost. β-Lactamase, a representative enzyme for β-lactam antibiotic degradation, was covalently immobilized on the surface of magnetic nanoparticles modified with amino groups by a simple cross-linking process. The immobilized β-lactamase displayed a wider pH and temperature range for penicillin G degradation than the free enzyme. Meanwhile, the thermostability and storage stability of the immobilized β-lactamase were improved. Fifty milligrams magnetic nanoparticles immobilized with β-lactamase can thoroughly degrade 100 mL penicillin G (5–50 mg L−1) within 5 min. Even if the β-lactamase immobilized on the nanoparticles was reused 35 times in the 5 mg L−1 penicillin G solution, it still kept more than 95% degradation efficiency. These suggest that magnetic nanoparticles immobilized with β-lactamase have a sufficient capacity for degrading antibiotics in wastewater and will serve as a practical and economical solution to antibiotic pollution in pharmaceutical industrial wastewater treatment.


Antibiotic pollution β-Lactamase Magnetic nanoparticles Reusability 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31371014).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • X. J. Gao
    • 1
  • X. J. Fan
    • 1
  • X. P. Chen
    • 2
  • Z. Q. Ge
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering and TechnologyTianjin University, Education Ministry Key Laboratory of Systems BioengineeringTianjinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute of Traditional Chinese MedicineTianjin University of Traditional Chinese MedicineTianjinPeople’s Republic of China

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