B6 More Enzymes in Action

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  • Created by: Qiao-Chu
  • Created on: 14-04-13 08:33

Immobilising Enzymes - Easier to Remove

When enzymes used to catalyse reactions, they sometimes dissolve in mixture with substrates and products making it difficult to remove. One way is to immobilise the enzymes. Many industrial processes use immobilised enzymes which don't need separation from mixture after reaction.

Many different ways to immobilise, one way is to encapsulate in alginate beads (gel-like substance). Beads formed by mixing enzyme with alginate then dropping into calcium chloride solution. Immobilised enzymes still active and help speed up reactions.


  • Enzymes don't contaminate product
  • Immobilised enzymes in alginate beads can be used in continuous flow processing
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Making Lactose-free Milk

Sugar lactose naturally found in milk, broken down in digestive system by enzyme lactase, producing glucose and galactose which are absorbed by blood.

Some people lack lactase enzyme so when drinking milk, lactose not broken down and gut bacteria ferment it causing stomach pain, wind and diarrhoea - lactose intolerant.

Lactose-free milk can be made with immobilised enzymes, lactase breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose - simpla sugars that can be absorbed by person with lactose intolerance.

Method of continuous flow processing used:

  • Substrate solution (milk) run through column of immobilised lactase
  • Enzymes convert substrate lactose into products glucose and galactose but only products emerge from column, enzymes stay fixed in column
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Used in Reagent Strips

1. Diabetics use reagent strips to measure blood glucose concentration daily. Quick and convenient. Before strips, had to guess when they needed injection of insulin(before meals0 and there was no quick way of knowing glucose level.

2. Immobilised enzymes in reagent strips.

3. Drop of blood from finger ***** added to strip, enzymes in strip cause dfferent colour chages depending on glucose concentation. Colour compared to chart to find level of blood sugar.

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