Enzymatic coupling of phenol vapors onto chitosan

Biotechnol Bioeng. 2001 Dec;76(4):325-32. doi: 10.1002/bit.10099.


Phenols are important industrial chemicals, and because they can be volatile, also appear as air pollutants. We examined the potential of tyrosinase to react with the volatile phenol p-cresol. Three lines of evidence support the conclusion that volatile phenols react with tyrosinase and are coupled (i.e., chemisorbed) onto chitosan films. First, phenol-trapping studies indicated that p-cresol can be removed from vapors if the vapors are contacted with tyrosinase-coated chitosan films. Second, the ultraviolet absorbance of tyrosinase-coated chitosan films changes dramatically when they are contacted with cresol-containing vapors, whereas control films are unaffected by contacting with cresol vapors. Third, pressure measurements indicate that tyrosinase-coated chitosan films only react with cresol vapors if the oxygen cosubstrate is present. Additional studies demonstrate the potential of tyrosinase-coated chitosan films/membranes for the detection and removal of phenol vapors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Chitin / analogs & derivatives
  • Chitin / chemistry*
  • Chitosan
  • Cresols / chemistry
  • Disinfectants / chemistry*
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase / chemistry
  • Phenol / chemistry*
  • Protein Binding
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Time Factors
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Cresols
  • Disinfectants
  • Chitin
  • Phenol
  • Chitosan
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase