Armored Enzyme Nanoparticles

Battelle Number: 13650-E | N/A

Technology Overview

Enzymes are useful for bio-processing at a nanoscale. However, a serious drawback to their use is that when exposed in a solution, they have very short lifetimes. Present ways of ameliorating this problem involve immobilizing the protein on a solid support or entrapping them in a support matrix. To a degree, these methods are successful; however, for many reasons, they do not completely solve the problem and in fact, may cause the enzyme to become inactivated during the immobilization process.

To address this problem, researchers at DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed armored, single-enzyme nanoparticles which dramatically stabilize a protein by surrounding each enzyme with a porous composite organic/inorganic shell less than a few nanometers thick. While such armored enzymes show some decrease in efficiency, they are stable for long periods of time and have the same binding constant as free enzymes. Experimental data suggest the armored shell is porous enough not to interfere with the proteolysis of proteins up to a molecular weight of 66K. These armored single-enzyme nanoparticles remain soluble in aqueous solutions and can be immobilized onto solid supports or matrices for applications that require that form.


Available for licensing in all fields


armored, enzyme, pnnl, nanoparticles, protein, organic, inorganic; biocomposite materials

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Market Sectors

Energy Production and Efficiency