Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Microreactor Efficiently Regenerates Cofactors For Biocatalysis

Date:
July 22, 2005
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
One of the longstanding challenges in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food additives is the continuous regeneration of molecules called cofactors that permit the synthesis through inexpensive and environmentally friendly biocatalytic processes. Now, a team of researchers has developed a microreactor that efficiently regenerates cofactors through enzyme-catalyzed reactions.

Paul Kenis and colleagues at the Universitι Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, France, has developed a microreactor that efficiently regenerates cofactors through enzyme-catalyzed reactions.
Credit: Photo by Kwame Ross

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- One of the longstanding challenges in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food additives is the continuous regeneration of molecules called cofactors that permit the synthesis through inexpensive and environmentally friendly biocatalytic processes.

Now, a team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Universite Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, France, has developed a microreactor that efficiently regenerates cofactors through enzyme-catalyzed reactions.

"Enzymes are nature's catalysts, but in some cases, enzymes can not prompt a speedy chemical reaction," said Paul Kenis, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Illinois and a researcher at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. "In those cases, one or more cofactors are required."

By continuously regenerating the required cofactors, the microreactor enables the desired biocatalytic processes. Kenis and his colleagues describe their work in a paper that has been accepted for publication in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and posted on its Web site.

The microreactor uses a Y-shaped microfluidic channel in which two liquid streams (a reactant stream and a buffer stream) merge and flow laminarly between two electrodes without mixing. By adjusting the flow rates of the two streams, the researchers can focus the reactant stream close to the cathode, and a normally unfavorable reaction equilibrium is driven into the desired direction of cofactor regeneration.

"In large batch reactors, a spontaneous reverse reaction prevents the regeneration of essential cofactors," Kenis said. "The absence of a bulk phase in our microreactor prevents the unwanted reverse reaction from occurring, while permitting continuous operation."

Using their microreactor, the researchers performed a model biocatalytic process by converting an achiral substrate (pyruvate) into a chiral product (L-lactate), using lactate dehydrogenase as the enzyme.

While further research is needed to improve the performance of individual microreactors, the present work shifts the emphasis from the longstanding problem of cofactor regeneration to a more tangible engineering challenge, Kenis said. "Now we need to integrate a large number of these microreactors in a recirculating system to enable the biocatalytic synthesis of chiral fine chemicals in larger quantities."

 

###

Collaborators included electrochemical engineering professor Theodore Tzedakis and graduate student Cheikhou Kane at the Universite Paul Sabatier and graduate students Eric Choban and Seong Kee Yoon at Illinois. Funding was provided by the University of Illinois and the National Center for Scientific Research in France (CNRS), as well as a formal exchange program between these two institutions.

Editor's note: To reach Paul Kenis, call 217-265-0523; e-mail: kenis@uiuc.edu.

 


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Microreactor Efficiently Regenerates Cofactors For Biocatalysis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050720064258.htm>.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2005, July 22). Microreactor Efficiently Regenerates Cofactors For Biocatalysis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050720064258.htm
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Microreactor Efficiently Regenerates Cofactors For Biocatalysis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050720064258.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) — Nike fired most of its Digital Sport hardware team, the group behind Nike's FuelBand device. Could Apple or an overcrowded market be behind layoffs? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) — It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins