Enzyme reactions are important not only in life processes but also for the commercial production of various chemicals and foods. Many enzyme reactions of practical interest involve water-insoluble substrates and/or products. To improve the efficiencies of such reactions, one can exploit the system of reverse micelles to immobilize the enzymes and serve as a microheterogeneous reaction medium. Enzyme reactions in reverse micelles require lower reaction volumes, are not restricted by mass transfer considerations and are not subject to product-inhibition. Also, microbial contamination is minimized. The unique microenvironment of the enzyme allows for biocatalytic activity, stability and substrate specificity that is different and vastly improved as compared to that in the aqueous environment. However, to make reverse micellar enzymology a commercial reality, problems linked to product separation, enzyme recovery and re-use need to be addressed. This paper discusses various aspects of enzyme reactions in reverse micelles and other closely related media.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science