Today, the quality of our life highly relies on the availability of materials, consumables, and medicine. However, not everyone really knows how these essential goods are produced. In fact, most of them are synthetic products from chemical reactions where chemical catalysts are required to speed up the reaction rate. Although chemical catalysts have been long employed in industry, the energy-intensive and polluting nature prohibits them from further use in a green and sustainable society.
In contrast, enzymes, as biological catalysts, can catalyze the reaction at room temperature and ambient pressure with high efficiency and selectivity. This advantage offers them wide applications in food and detergent industries. In particular, they are being increasingly exploited for asymmetric synthetic transformations, fuelled by the growing demand for enantiopure pharmaceuticals. Despite the importance, enzymes are still not as competitive as chemical catalysts because of their instability in application conditions.
In my research, we use different techniques to immobilize enzymes in order to improve their stability. In particular, nano/micron-sized capsules are created to encapsulate enzymes with a large-surface-area that can improve their catalytic efficiency. With these efforts, we contribute to the robust and efficient enzyme catalysts for green and sustainable synthesis.