A structurally stable gel bead containing an entrapped enzyme and a method for its manufacture. The enzyme is covalently cross-linked to gelatin in the presence of glutaraldehyde prior to the formation of the gel bead, to prevent leakage of the enzyme. Propylene glycol alginate is then added to the mixture. Once the gel beads are formed, they are then soaked in glutaraldehyde, which imparts structural stability to the gel beads. This method can be used with many types of enzymes, such as proteases, carbohydrases, proteases, ligases, isomerases, oxidoreductases, and specialty enzymes. These and other enzymes can be immobilized in the gel beads and utilized in a number of enzymatic processes. Exogenously added ions are not required to maintain the structural stability of these gel beads.
This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-OR21400 awarded by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Chemical Sciences Division, of the U.S. Department of Energy to Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. and the Government has certain rights in the invention.