The activity of immobilized subtilisin BPN' on pure cellulose-based membrane support was investigated using site-directed and random immobilization approaches. The catalytic activity of site-directed immobilized subtilisin on pure cellulose fiber-based materials was found to be 81% of that in homogeneous solution, while that of randomly immobilized subtilisin was 27%. Pure cellulose membrane supports provided large surface areas for high enzyme loading without diffusional limitations. The activity of immobilized subtilisin on pure cellulose support was more than twice that on a modified polyether sulfone (MPS) membrane, which was attributed to the higher hydrophilicity of cellulose. Immobilized subtilisin maintained its initial activity for 14 days at 4°C and 7 days at 24°C. The immobilized enzyme could resist higher temperature and operate over a wider range of pH without loss of activity. This study showed that pure cellulose fiber-based membranes are well suited for enzyme immobilization and biocatalysis.
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