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Biocatalysts and Enzyme Technology


ARTICLE in MACROMOLECULAR CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS JULY 2005
Impact Factor: 2.45 DOI: 10.1002/macp.200500213

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2 AUTHORS:
Donald A. Cowan

Stephanie Burton

University of Pretoria

University of Pretoria

263 PUBLICATIONS 4,671 CITATIONS

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Available from: Donald A. Cowan


Retrieved on: 17 June 2015

Book Review

1448

Biocatalysts and Enzyme


Technology
By Klaus Buchholz,
Volker Kasche,
Uwe T. Bornscheuer
Wiley-VCH,
2005, hardcover,
465 pages,
63,48 s, ISBN:
3-527-30497-5
This comprehensive new text on enzyme technology is not actually new
it is a substantially updated translation
of an earlier edition published in German some 10 years ago. The first
edition expressed the aim of providing
a deeper insight into the fundamentals
of enzyme technology and applied
biocatalysis. The field of biocatalysis
has, of course, progressed a great deal
in ten years. This new international
edition has been expanded to make
reference to new technologies and to
emphasise fields that have grown in
importance since first publication, such
as the use of enzymes in organic
synthesis.
The coverage of this new edition is
impressive. It encompasses, in greater
or lesser detail, many of the fundamentals of enzyme structure, engineer-

Macromol. Chem. Phys. 2005, 206, 1448

ing, kinetics and catalysis, along with


reactor design and process parameters.
Nevertheless, much of the content is
focused on applied aspects. Both aqueous and organic solvent biocatalysis
systems are dealt with in considerable
detail. Three chapters are dedicated to
immobilization techniques and chemical engineering parameters of immobilized biocatalysts. An excellent
chapter on enzymes in organic chemistry reviews the current application
status of all the 15 key groups of
enzymes. This chapter is particularly
well supported with pathways and
process diagrams and, like all sections
in this useful text, is comprehensively
referenced.
No text of this size can be fully comprehensive. There are a few obvious
gaps and imbalances, none of which
really detract from the value of the text.
For example, there is a reasonably
detailed discussion of the methods for
enhancing enzyme properties (rational
design, enzyme evolution) but only the
most cursory reference to the rapidly
developing technologies of metagenomic gene discovery. Some of the
content has apparently not been substantially updated. The chapter on reactors and process technology might even
be described as pedestrian.

DOI: 10.1002/macp.200500213

This text appears to be well positioned


for the top end of the undergraduate
student market. For the lecturer restructuring a third year undergraduate
course on Industrial Enzymology,
this book looks like ideal source material. The inclusion of theoretical and
practical exercises (the latter designed
to be employed as wet-laboratory practical exercises, perhaps) suggests that
the authors had the undergraduate
market in mind. It can only be hoped
that the price of the text is compatible
with this market. The book is also a
valuable source of background reading
for the research student embarking on a
project in the field of applied biocatalysis, notwithstanding its somewhat
terse writing style and old-fashioned
presentation. The use of colour, particularly in the figures, would have
enriched the presentation.
In a field that moves as fast as enzyme
technology, the educational impact of a
new specialized textbook is dependent
on the content being completely up to
date. This textbook goes a long way to
achieving this aim.

Don A. Cowan, Stephanie G. Burton


Cape Town (South Africa)

2005 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

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