Gold nanoparticles are excellent biocompatible surfaces for the immobilization of enzymes. However, separation of the gold nanoparticle-enzyme bioconjugate material from the reaction medium is often difficult. In this study, we investigate the assembly of the gold nanoparticles on the surface of the amine-functionalized zeolite microspheres in the formation of zeolite-gold nanoparticle "core-shell" structures and, thereafter, the use of this structure in immobilization of fungal protease. The assembly of gold nanoparticles on the zeolite surface occurs through the amine groups present in 3-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane (3-APTS). The fungal proteases bound to the massive "core-shell" structures were easily separated from the reaction medium by mild centrifugation and exhibited excellent reuse characteristics. The biocatalytic activity of fungal protease in the bioconjugate was marginally enhanced relative to the free enzyme in solution. The bioconjugate material also showed significantly enhanced pH and temperature stability and a shift in the optimum temperature of operation.
- Zeolite microspheres