Libo Zhang

Date of Award

Summer 2020

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Qian Wang


Enzymes, as highly efficient biocatalysts, have been researched extensively in both academia and industry because of their distinct advantages including high substrate specificity, high regio- and stereoselectivity, environmentally benign process, etc. Though enzyme catalysis has been scaled up for commercial processes in the pharmaceutical, food and beverage and detergent industries, technical barriers associated with enzyme implementation persist, i.e., low catalytic efficiency at non-natural environment, exhausting product separations, high cost of certain enzymes, etc. Moreover, currently most industrial enzymes are used in single-step reactions; however, multistep and multienzyme catalysis with optimal efficiency could greatly expand its potential for synthetic applications to achieve complex chemical transformations. In this dissertation, we use a polymer protein co-assembly strategy to construct core-shell nanoparticles to study multistep and multienzyme involved catalysis. An electrokinetics (EK) based microfluidic method has been explored to improve the polymer-protein(s) co-assembly and fabricate homogenous polymer-enzyme hybrid nanoparticles. A group of small molecules have been characterized as efficient P450 OleTSA enzyme activators providing novel strategies to enhance enzyme activity in situ. Finally, a surfactant assisted enzyme involved microemulsion formation via interfacial assembly has been studied.

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