An overview on polymer gels applied to enzyme and cell immobilization

Gustavo Borin, Ricardo Rodrigues de Melo, Elaine Crespim, Helia Harumi Sato, Fabiano Jares Contesini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolymer Gels
Subtitle of host publicationScience and Fundamentals
EditorsVijay Kumar Thakur, Manju Kumari Thakur
PublisherSpringer Singapore
ISBN (Electronic)9789811060861
ISBN (Print)9789811060854, 9789811338687
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2018

Publication series

NameGel Horizons: From Science to Smart Materials
ISSN (Print)2367-0061
ISSN (Electronic)2367-007X


  • polymer gel
  • immobolization
  • microbial enzymes
  • whole-cells

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