The theoretical part of the course describes how the catalysts of the biological world, the enzymes, can be used in a variety of contexts. Examples are the use in bioanalysis, refining of food, washing powder, textile treatment and transformation of chemicals.
The general properties of enzymes are well known from previous courses. In this course is described how enzyme molecules can be modified in order to get improved properties for technical use. Examples include genetic and chemical modification and immobilization. Immobilization, i.e. the coupling of enzymes to carrier material, is treated thoroughly. Likewise are the kinetic properties of immobilized enzymes and ways to quantify these properties emphasized.
In the cell the enzymes function in an aqueous environment. Under certain circumstances enzymes can also work efficiently in a non-aqueous environment or in an environment with a low water activity. This opens up for unique possibilities for an enzymatic synthesis of a number of substances, including chiral substances. This kind of use of enzymes in non-conventional media is treated in great detail.
The laboratory practical has two parts. One part where basic techniques concerning immobilization of enzymes are investigated and one research related part where untested experiments with enzymes in organic solvents are designed and carried out.