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Use of Silica Nanosprings in an Enzyme-Based Continuous Flow Reactor

D.C. Hyatt, T. Cantrell, M. Yahvah, M. Grant Norton, D.N. McIlroy, G. Corti
GoNano Technologies, Inc., US

Keywords: nanosprings, continuos flow reactors, enzymes, immobilized


Enzyme catalyzed reactions have several advantages over conventional synthetic reactions. The use of enzymes is rapidly increasing in industry. The specificity of enzymes has considerable potential for the production of complex pharmaceutical compounds. Incorporating enzyme catalyzed steps into the production of molecules like TAXOL® could enable their cost effective production from common starting materials. As a bulk catalyst, enzymes have several disadvantages that have limited their use as an industrial catalyst, such as product inhibition and cost. However, the problems associated with enzymes in bulk reactions can be circumvented by attaching them to a fixed matrix. In this type of continuous flow reactor (CFR), product does not accumulate to appreciable concentrations, and enzymes remain separated from the reaction mixture, while exhibiting a high activity and stability. For these reasons, immobilized enzyme-based CFRs have long been a topic of interest, without major success due to the substrate media. Nanosprings, with a surface area of 300m2/g, show potential as a enzyme support material. Silica Nanosprings are formed at temperatures as low as 325°C as randomly oriented mats. Nanosprings can be coated on a variety of substrates, including glass, metals, and certain plastics.
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