Poly(N-vinylimidazole) (PVIm) gels were prepared by irradiating a binary mixture of N-vinylimidazole (VIm)–water in a 60Co-γ source having 4.5 kGy/h dose rate. In the glucose oxidase (GOx) adsorption studies, affinity gels with a swelling ratio of 1100% for PVIm and 40 and 55% for Cu(II)- and Co(II)-chelated PVIm gels, respectively, at pH 6.5 in phosphate buffer were used. FTIR spectra were taken for PVIm and Cu(II)- and Co(II)-chelated PVIm, and glucose oxidase adsorption on these gels, to characterize the nature of the interactions in each species. The results show that PVIm–glucose oxidase interaction is mainly electrostatic and metal ion–chelated PVIm gel–glucose oxidase interaction is of coordinate covalent nature. Cu(II) and Co(II) ions were chelated within the gels via amine groups on the imidazole ring of the gel. Different amounts of Cu(II) and Co(II) ions [maximum 3.64 mmol/g dry gel for Cu(II) and 1.72 mmol/g dry gel for Co(II)] were loaded on the gels by changing the initial concentration of Cu(II) and Co(II) ions at pH 7.0. GOx adsorption on these gels from aqueous solutions containing different amounts of GOx at different pH was investigated in batch reactors. GOx adsorption capacity was further increased when Cu(II) and Co(II) ions were attached [up to 0.53 g GOx/g dry Co(II)-chelated PVIm gels]. More than 90% of the adsorbed GOx was desorbed in 5 h in desorption medium containing 1.0M KSCN at pH 7.0 for plain gel and 0.05M EDTA at pH 4.9 for metal-chelated gel. Nonspecific glucose oxidase adsorption on/in the metal ion–chelated PVIm gel was investigated using 0.02M of phosphate buffer solution. The nonspecific GOx adsorption was determined to be about 18% for PVIm and 8% for the metal ion–chelated PVIm gels. The ionic strength effect was investigated both on PVIm and on the metal ion–chelated PVIm gels for the glucose oxidase adsorption. It was found that ionic strength was more effective on the PVIm gel because of the electrostatic interaction between protonated gel and the deprotonated glucose oxidase side chain. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 82: 446–453, 2001
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