An Overview on Polymer Gels Applied to Enzyme and Cell Immobilization

  • Gustavo Pagotto Borin
  • Ricardo Rodrigues de Melo
  • Elaine Crespim
  • Helia Harumi Sato
  • Fabiano Jares ContesiniEmail author
Part of the Gels Horizons: From Science to Smart Materials book series (GHFSSM)


Immobilization of enzymes and cells is crucial in several industrial areas. This is mainly due to the possibility to improve enzyme properties including thermal stability, substrate selectivity, and biocatalyst reuse. These modifications allow for a considerable decrease in the cost of many commercial applications. The use of polymer gels for cell and enzyme immobilization presents numerous advantages over other immobilization supports, since they allow the protein or cell entrapment to be performed in a more efficient and simpler way. The polymers used here include polysaccharides and synthetic polymers in which several industrially relevant enzymes were immobilized with positive results. In addition to the immobilization of enzymes, there are many studies reporting the immobilization of microbial cells in polymers for enzyme production. Enzyme and cell immobilization in polymer gels show potential to deliver useful and efficient strategies to make use of microbial enzymes from an industrial point of view. However, further efforts must be made to better understand and apply immobilization of biocatalysts and to develop new technologies. This chapter focuses on general aspects of polymer gels, particularly regarding the immobilization of enzymes and microbial cells in different industrial fields.


Polymer gel Immobilization Microbial enzymes Whole-cells 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gustavo Pagotto Borin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ricardo Rodrigues de Melo
    • 1
    • 3
  • Elaine Crespim
    • 1
  • Helia Harumi Sato
    • 3
  • Fabiano Jares Contesini
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratório Nacional de Ciência E Tecnologia Do Bioetanol (CTBE)Centro Nacional de Pesquisa Em Energia E Materiais (CNPEM)CampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Institute of BiologyUniversity of CampinasUnicampBrazil
  3. 3.College of Food EngineeringUniversity of CampinasCampinasBrazil

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