Biocatalyst and Protein-channel Immobilized Membranes

Mentors: D. Bhattacharyya, Yinan Wei

The immobilization of enzymes (for biocatalysis) and specific protein channels (for selective transport) is an important area of research where both selective separations and reactivity is needed. Layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly technique, most commonly conducted by intercalation of positive and negative polyelectrolytes, is a powerful, versatile and simple method for assembling supramolecular structures and the development of nanostructured materials. Non-stoichiometric immobilization of charged polyelectrolyte assemblies within confined pore geometries leads to an enhanced volume density of ionizable groups in the membrane phase. The immobilization of enzymes for bio-catalysis (such as, Glucose oxidase, Catalase) in LBL assembly provides highly enhanced activity. The protein channel creation will require crosslinking with segments of the LbL assembly. The REU student will be working on the synthesis of functionalized materials, formation of LBL assembly in membrane pores, permeability and enzyme activity measurements, and protein channel separation selectivity. This project will advance their knowledge further in functionalization chemistry, material characterization, and applications in selective separation and biocatalytic reaction area.