Enzymes in organic media: Forms, functions and applications

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Enzyme catalysis in low water containing organic solvents is finding an increasing number of applications in diverse areas. This review focuses on some aspects which have not been reviewed elsewhere. Different strategies for obtaining higher activity and stability in such media are described. In this context, the damaging role of lyophilization and the means of overcoming such effects are discussed. Ultrasonication and microwave assistance are two emerging approaches for enhancing reaction rates in low water media. Control of water activity and medium engineering are two crucial approaches in optimization of catalytic behaviour in nonaqueous enzymology. Organometallics and synthesis/modification of polymers are two areas where nonaqueous enzymology can play a greater role in the coming years. The greater understanding of enzyme behaviour in nonaqueous media is expected to lead to larger and even more diverse kinds of applications.

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