Catalytic biofunctional membranes containing site-specifically immobilized enzyme arrays: A review

D. Allan Butterfield, Dibakar Bhattacharyya, Sylvia Daunert, Leonidas Bachas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Biofunctional membranes normally involve the random immobilization of biomolecules to porous, polymeric membranes, often through the numerous lysine residues on the protein. In this process, bioactivity is significantly decreased largely due to different orientations of the biomolecule with respect to the membrane or to multiple point attachment. To circumvent this difficulty, while still taking advantage of the immobilization of biomolecules, site-specific immobilization of the biomolecule with the active (or binding) site directed away from the membrane is essential. In this review, we summarize our efforts involving biophysical and bioanalytical chemistry and chemical engineering, together with molecular biology, to develop and characterize such site-specifically membrane immobilized catalytic enzyme bioreactors. Site-directed mutagenesis, gene fusion technology, and post-translational modification methods are employed to effectuate the site-specific membrane immobilization. Electron paramagnetic resonance, in conjunction with active-site specific spin labels, kinetic analyses, and membrane properties are used to characterize these systems. Biofunctional membranes incorporating site-specifically immobilized biomolecules provide greater efficiency of biocatalysis, bioseparations, and bioanalysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 15 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by grants from NSF (CTS-9307518) and DoD (DAAG55-98-1-0003). We thank J. Wang for assistance in preparation of some of the figures in this review.


  • Biofunctional membranes
  • Membrane reactors
  • Membrane-bound enzymes
  • Site-specific immobilization using molecular biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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