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Enzymes are ideal catalysts for green chemistry; using enzymatic reactions in place of conventional chemical routes for industrial processes reducing waste and avoiding harsh reaction conditions and solvents that may harm the environment. Since enzymes in industrial biocatalysis are often used in non-ideal conditions and for purposes quite different from the natural context and function for which they have evolved, there is potential to improve their performance in these processes. Using microfluidic (i.e. “lab-on-chip”) techniques, the Shih lab will develop high-throughput enzyme screening methods to characterize the activities of free enzymes, enzyme complexes, and enzyme mixtures that are used for a myriad of processes.
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