Precipitation-based microscale enzyme reactors coupled with porous and adhesive elastomer for effective bacterial decontamination and membrane antifouling on-demand

Young Chul Yoon, Han Sol Kim, Seji Yoon, Kyung Min Yeon, Jungbae Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bacterial contamination of water environments can cause various troubles in various areas. As one of potential solutions, we develop enzyme-immobilized elastomer, and demonstrate the uses of enzyme reactions on-demand for effective microbial decontamination and antifouling. Asymmetrically-structured elastomer is prepared by combining two polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) layers with different degrees of crosslinking: highly-crosslinked and lightly-crosslinked PDMS layers. At the surface of highly-crosslinked PDMS layer, porous structure with average diameter of 842 nm is formed by dissolving pre-packed and entrapped latex beads. Lightly-crosslinked PDMS on the other side, due to its adhesive nature, enables iterative attachments on various materials under either dry or wet condition. Glucose oxidase (GOx) is immobilized by using the pores at the surface of highly-crosslinked PDMS matrix via a ship-in-a-bottle protocol of precipitation-based microscale enzyme reactor (p-MER), which consists of GOx adsorption, precipitation and chemical crosslinking (EAPC). As a result, crosslinked enzyme aggregates (CLEAs) of GOx not only are well entrapped within many pores of highly-crosslinked PDMS layer (ship-in-bottle) but also cover the external surface of matrix, both of which are well connected together. Highly-interconnected network of CLEAs themselves effectively prevents enzyme leaching, which shows the 25% residual activity of GOx under shaking at 200 rpm for 156 days after 48% initial drop of loosely-bound p-MER after 4 days. In presence of glucose, the underwater attachment of biocatalytic elastomer demonstrates the generation of hydrogen peroxide via p-MER-catalyzed glucose oxidation, exhibiting effective biocidal activities against both gram-positive S. aureus and gram-negative E. coli. Adhesion-induced GOx-catalyzed reaction also alleviates the biofouling of membrane, suggesting its extendibility to various engineering systems being suffered by biofouling. This study of biocatalytic elastomer has demonstrated its new opportunities for the facile and on-demand enzyme-catalyzed reactions in various environmental applications, such as bactericidal treatment, water treatment/purification, and pollutant degradation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113407
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea ( NRF ) grant funded by the Korea government ( MSIT ) (No. NRF- 2020R1A2C3009649 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.


  • Bacterial decontamination
  • Biocatalytic elastomer
  • Glucose oxidase
  • Membrane antifouling
  • Polydimethylsiloxane
  • Precipitation-based microscale enzyme reactor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)


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