Applied Enzyme Technology Ltd (AET) and IBERS, Aberystwyth University received a 2013 SPARK Award to fund an investigation into the ability of specific algal sugars to stabilise enzymes.
The sugars were extracted from seaweeds harvested off the coast of mid-Wales and purified forms were used in two studies with enzymes of interest to AET.
Enzymes selected from E.C. classes 1 and 3, relevant protocols and substrates for measurement of activity were supplied by AET. Denaturation midpoint-melting temperature assay materials, protocols and instrumentation were provided by Aberystwyth University.
An initial protein mid-point melting temperature assay indicated algal sugars of interest which were then used in a second, time-based stability study with selected enzymes in both solution and dried state.
The outcome of this second study was the identification of one algal sugar which showed good and extended enzyme stability over the course of its study. AET will use this sugar in a longer-term trial and further studies to see if this property continues; and if successful will investigate the commercially viability of this process.
Source: Summary SPARK report provided by the project partners