Nano-heating enables enzymes to work at sub-zero temperatures20.01.2023
Nano-heating enables enzymes to work at sub-zero temperatures
Researchers from the SNI network have developed a strategy to enable the activity of a natural biocatalyst at low temperatures, down to -10°C.
Professor Patrick Shahgaldian's group from the FHNW School of Life Sciences immobilized enzymes isolated from an #Antarctic yeast together with gold nanoparticles on the surface of silica particles. Optically excited, the gold particles begin to radiate nanometer-scale heat. The tiny amounts of heat are sufficient for the neighboring enzymes, which are already adapted to cold temperatures in nature, to perform their catalytic work at temperatures as low as -10°C. The system only works if the embedded gold nanoparticles and enzymes are shielded from the environment by a nanometer-thin layer.