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International Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Volume 166, 2021, Pages 238-250

Stabilizing enzymes by immobilization on bacterial spores: A review of literature

Chika Jude Ugwuodo, Tochukwu Nwamaka Nwagu

University of Nigeria.


The ever-increasing applications of enzymes are limited by the relatively poor performance in harsh processing conditions. As a result, there are constant innovations in immobilization protocols for improving biocatalyst activity and stability. Bacterial spores are cheap to generate and highly resistant to environmental stress. The spore core is sheathed by an inner membrane, the germ cell wall, the cortex, outer membrane, spore coat and in some species the exosporium. The spore surface is anion-rich, hydrophobic and contains several reactive groups capable of interacting and stabilizing enzyme molecules through electrostatic forces, hydrophobic interactions and covalent bonding. The probiotic nature of spores obtained from non-toxic bacterial species makes them suitable carriers for the enzyme immobilization, especially food-grade enzymes or those intended for therapeutic use. Immobilization on spores is by direct adsorption, covalent attachment or surface display during the sporulation phase. Hindrances to the immobilization on spore matrix include the production rates, operational instability, and reduced catalytic properties due to conformational changes in enzyme. This paper reviews bacterial spore as a heterofunctional support matrix gives reasons why probiotic bacillus spores are better options and the diverse technologies adopted for spore-enzyme immobilization. It further suggests directions for future use and discusses the commercialization prospects.

Keywords: Bacterial spores, Bacillus species, Probiotic spore, Enzyme immobilization, Enzyme stabilization, Therapeutic application.

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