Aspects of biocatalyst stability in organic solvents

Patrick Adlercreutz, Bo Mattiasson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The stability of biocatalysis in systems containing organic solvents is reviewed. Among the examples presented are homogeneous mixtures of water and water-miscible organic solvents, aqueous/organic two-phase systems, solid biocatalysts suspended in organic solvents, enzymes in reverse micelles and modified enzymes soluble in water immiscible solvents. The stability of biocatalysts in organic solvents depends very much on the conditions. The hydrophobicity or the polarity of the solvent is clearly of great importance. More hydrophobic solvents (higher log P values) are less harmful to enzymes than less hydrophobic solvents. The water content of the system is a very important parameter. Some water is essential for enzymatic activity; however, the stability of enzymes decreases with increasing water content. Mechanisms of enzyme inactivation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-108
Number of pages10
JournalBiocatalysis and Biotransformation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1987 Jan 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Biocatalysis and Enzyme Technology

Free keywords

  • Biocatalyst stability
  • Biocatalysts in organic solvents
  • Bioorganic synthesis
  • Enzyme stability
  • Enzymes in organic solvents


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