Case Study: Optimising immobilised enzyme formulations for both cost and performance

A zero-sum game: cost or performance? 

Current low-cost enzyme immobilisation solutions offer a one-size fits all approach with no optimisation for specific reactions, often resulting in catalysts with much lower performance than desired. However, developing customised immobilised biocatalysts presents its own set of challenges – it can be a costly and lengthy process with an uncertain outcome, even after a high performing enzyme is found. There are two main reasons that make bespoke enzyme immobilisation difficult. First, existing immobilisation supports are difficult to manipulate, offering limited options to evaluate. At most, it is possible to test the effect of different beads and resins, leaving out important variables like coating options, pore type, pore structures, and immobilisation conditions. Second, many support formulations must be tested to find an optimised solution, and because immobilisation is hard to automate, this is often done by hand, substantially increasing the length and cost of the process.

EnginZyme’s automated biocatalyst design platform 

By quickly iterating through immobilisation parameters, EnginZyme can identify a high performing catalyst at the lowest possible cost. Working with a large food industry player, EnginZyme produced a high performing bespoke biocatalyst to replace an incumbent immobilised lipase. Our high throughput biocatalyst design platform allowed EnginZyme to screen different enzyme types, immobilisation EziG supports, and formulations to quickly develop a catalyst with increased performance compared to the incumbent catalyst. As can be seen in the graph below, EnginZyme produced multiple iterations of EziG-enzyme formulations with different cost points and performances, allowing us to narrow down the catalyst formulation to the highest performance at the lowest cost. The first formulation demonstrated significant performance improvement compared to the incumbent but came with high production costs, while the final version demonstrated a 4x performance improvement over the incumbent at only 2x the cost. EnginZyme’s bespoke catalyst will allow our partner to increase its production using its existing capacity with no additional capital, thereby resulting in a decrease in production costs.

Enzyme immobilisation with no compromises 

Overall, our high-throughput biocatalyst design platform allows us to optimise both for cost and performance, allowing our customers and partners to improve their processes without having to make compromises. Unlike our competitors, EnginZyme can manipulate all parameters of an immobilisation carrier. We can engineer the surface properties of our supports by modifying the pore type, pore structures, coatings, and immobilisation conditions to better fit a particular enzyme to the support. Moreover, our automation and high-throughput technology enable us to quickly iterate between formulations in order to identify the best support and coating for a specific enzyme and reaction. In short, we can design cost-competitive bespoke immobilised catalysts with superior performance.


Do you want to know more about how we can optimise cost and performance at your company? Contact us at to learn more.

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