Fluorinated dendritic amphiphiles, their stomatosome aggregates and application in enzyme encapsulation
T. Guitton-Spassky, F. Junge, A. K. Singh, B. Schade, K. Achazi, M. Maglione, S. Sigrist, R. Rashmi and R. Haag – 2023
Enzymes are more selective and efficient than synthetic catalysts but are limited by difficult recycling. This is overcome by immobilisation, namely through encapsulation, with the main drawback of this method being slow diffusion of products and reactants, resulting in effectively lowered enzyme activity. Fluorinated dendritic amphiphiles were reported to self-assemble into regularly perforated bilayer vesicles, so-called “stomatosomes”. It was proposed that they could be promising novel reaction vessels due to their increased porosity while retaining larger biomolecules at the same time. Amphiphiles were synthesised and their aggregation was analysed by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) in buffered conditions necessary for enzyme encapsulation. Urease and albumin were encapsulated using the thin-film hydration method and investigated by confocal and time-gated stimulated emission depletion microscopy (gSTED). Their release was then used to probe the selective retention of cargo by stomatosomes. Free and encapsulated enzyme activity were compared and their capacity to be reused was evaluated using the Berthelot method. Urease was successfully encapsulated, did not leak out at room temperature, and showed better activity in perforated vesicles than in closed vesicles without perforations. Encapsulated enzyme could be reused with retained activity over 8 cycles using centrifugation, while free enzyme had to be filtrated. These results show that stomatosomes may be used in enzyme immobilisation applications and present advantages over closed vesicles or free enzyme.