Research (Bioproducts)

Research area:

Mannanases, cellulases & mag/combi-CLEAs for generating bioproducts

My broad research interest lies in the field of enzymology - and more specifically -applied enzymology, with a focus on the use of Carbohydrate Active Enzymes (CAZymes) and their synergistic interactions to generate bioproducts (such as prebiotics, foods and feeds and products of biomedical significance).

Since 2021, my research has focused on the use of mannanases and cellulases, often in immobilised form as magnetic- or combi-cross-linked enzyme aggregates (CLEAs) for biotechnological applications, such as producing prebiotic manno-oligosaccharides (MOS) from beta-mannan, and bioactive alginate oligosaccharides (AOS) from kelp (brown seaweed). MOS and AOS possess a wide range of biological activities, including prebiotic activity, suppression of obesity, decrease in blood sugar levels and regulation of plant growth.

The use of CLEAs is especially attractive as immobilised enzymes are often more stable, can be reused and allow for greater process control. In addition, we also make use of our expertise in enzyme synergism, along with computer modelling, to enable enzymes to work together more effectively.

We also make use of a range of cutting-edge techniques in the field, such as substrate pre-treatment, substrate compositional analysis, protein expression and purification, enzyme kinetics, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), XRD, viscometry, thin layer chromatography (TLC), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), FT-IR and prebiotic studies (cell growth and viability, auto-aggregation and biofilm formation) in our approach.


Last Modified: Tue, 30 Mar 2021 14:37:29 SAST