The bioinspired design and construction of enzyme@capsule microreactors with specific cell-like functionality has generated tremendous interest in recent years. Inspired by their fascinating complexity, scientists have endeavored to understand the essential aspects of a natural cell and create biomimicking microreactors so as to immobilize enzymes within the hierarchical structure of a microcapsule. In this study, simultaneous encapsulation of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) was achieved during the preparation of microcapsules by the Pickering emulsion method using amphiphilic modified TiO₂ nanoparticles (NPs) as building blocks for assembling the photocatalytic microcapsule membrane. The ADH@TiO₂ NP microreactors exhibited dual catalytic functions, i.e., spatially confined enzymatic catalysis and the membrane-associated photocatalytic oxidation under visible light. The sustainable cycling of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) coenzyme between NADH and NAD⁺ was realized by enzymatic regeneration of NADH from NAD⁺ reduction, and was provided in a form that enabled further photocatalytic oxidation to NAD⁺ under visible light. This bioinspired ADH@TiO₂ NP microreactor allowed the linking of a semiconductor mineral-based inorganic photosystem to enzymatic reactions. This is a first step toward the realization of sustainable biological cycling of NAD⁺/NADH coenzyme in synthetic functional microsystems operating under visible light irradiation.
Keywords: TiO2 nanoparticles; alcohol dehydrogenase; bioinspired microreactors; enzyme encapsulation; nicotinamide coenzymes cycling.