* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received December 8, 2003; Revision received December 29, 2003
Immobilization of catalase (molecular weight 240,000 daltons) in polyelectrolyte microspheres was studied. The microspheres were obtained by alternating adsorption of dextran sulfate and protamine on commercially available melamine formaldehyde cores followed by the core hydrolysis at pH 1.7. As the interior of the microspheres was filled with homogeneous matrix, the catalase distribution inside the microspheres was uniform. The quantity of entrapped catalase was dependent on the initial concentration of the enzyme and pH of solution, and the peak value was 108-109 molecules per microsphere. It was demonstrated that catalase was entrapped in the microspheres via electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions. The catalase activity inside the microspheres increased as the quantity of enzyme decreased, which was due to the switch between diffusion and kinetic regimes of the enzymatic reaction. The microspheres could be applied for separation and concentration of high molecular weight proteins.
KEY WORDS: microencapsulation, microspheres, polyelectrolytes, catalase, dextran sulfate, protamine, melamine formaldehyde