Enzyme Immobilization: Applications in diagnosis & medicine

Enzyme immobilization is a technique wherein enzymes are attached to certain inert materials to enhance their stability.

Due to this immobilization, enzymes are less susceptible to damage by changes in temperature and pH.

This is an important technique for the storage & use of enzymes for commercial purposes.

Enzymes are bio-catalysts formed inside the body of animals, plants, and cells.

They have a diverse role in physiology and when isolated out of the body for external use, they get damaged easily.

Henceforth immobilization is a technique adopted to isolate enzymes and store them externally for a long duration.

This is the only method by which one can use the enzymes at their full potential, to a complete extent and for multiple usages (reusable) without destruction.

This enzyme immobilization is a complex yet scientifically proven process.

The process involves extraction, purification, and stabilization of the enzymes.

Enzyme Immobilization

Enzyme Immobilization methods & techniques:

1. Extraction of crude enzyme.

2. Preparation of crude enzyme.

3. Purification of Enzymes.

4. Final processing. Which includes the reaction of the enzyme with inert substances in reactors to make them immobile.

Application of Immobilized Enzymes in Medicine and Drug Manufacture

In the production of Antibiotics: 

Immobilized “penicillinase” is used in converting Pencillin-G or V to 6-amino penicillin acid. (6-APA).

From this, 6-APA Ampicillin is produced using immobilized enzyme “pencillamidase.”

Other examples include: Bacitracin, tyrosine, nikkomycin are manufactured using suitable immobilized enzymes.

Production of Steroids:

Prednisolone is produced from cortisone using an immobilized enzyme obtained from curcuria lanata.

To produce amino acids:

The immobilized “L-aspartase-4-decarboxylase” enzyme helps convert L-Aspartic acid to L-Alanine, an amino acid.

In the production of L-DOPA:

L-DOPA is a drug used in the treatment of Parkinsonism. This can be produced by using the immobilized enzyme “β-tyrosinase.”

In the production of Co-enzyme-A (Vit-B5), Pro-insulin, interleukin-2, prostaglandins, monoclonal anti-bodies.

To produce medicinal plant derivatives like anthraquinone (a glycoside to relieve constipation).

Application in Diagnosis of Medical Conditions

Immobilized enzymes are used to study the type of disease present in the patient and study pathological conditions.

The immobilized enzyme “Aldolase” is used in the diagnosis of muscle disorders.

“Glutamate oxaloacetate transferase” to diagnose myocardial infarction.

“Iso-citrate dehydrogenase” is used in the diagnosis of acute hepatitis.

Prostate cancer is detected using immobilized enzymes “Acid phosphatase.”

In Organo phosphorous poisoning (like pesticide poisoning), the enzyme “Choline esterase” in RBC cells is used for diagnosis.

Further immobilized enzymes like “Alkaline phosphatase” and “β-lactamase” are used to analyze antigens and antibodies.

Immobilized enzymes are also used as bio-sensors to measure the concentration of biologicals in the body fluids.

Kinetic reactions, which involve the measurement of percentage conversion of substrate into product and study the rate of reaction, are done by immobilized enzymes.

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