Biocatalysis Laboratory

MacroareaMedicinal Chemistry

ERC Sectors: PE4_12 Chemical reactions: mechanisms, dynamics, kinetics and catalytic reactions; PE4_14 Radiation and Nuclear chemistry; PE5_18 Medicinal Chemistry; LS9

Research Team

Lab Managers: Daniela Ubiali (Associate Professor), Teodora Bavaro (Assistant Professor)

Junior Staff: Marina S. Robescu (Post-doc), Riccardo Semproli (PhD student)

Research Line

1. BIOCATALYSIS applied to the synthesis of APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) and/or their intermediates, immobilization of enzymes to achieve stable and recyclable biocatalysts for preparative biotransformations (in batch and in flow)

2. BIOREFINERY enzyme-based technology for upgrading agrifood waste and by-products into high-added value bio-based products (i.e. emulsifiers, biofuels, flavour enhancers, biologically active peptides)

3. MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY: design, synthesis, analytical characterization of biologically active NCEs (New Chemical Entities). Structure-Activity Relationships (SAR study)

  • Bavaro T.*, Tengattini S., Rezwan R., Chiesa E., Temporini C., Dorati R., Massolini G., Conti B., Ubiali D., Terreni M. (2021) Design of epidermal growth factor immobilization on 3D biocompatible scaffolds to promote tissue repair and regeneration. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, vol. 11 p. 2629, ISSN: 2045-2322. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-81905-1
  • Bavaro T., Benucci I., Pedrali A., Marrubini G., Esti M., Terreni M., Massolini G., Ubiali D.* (2020) Lipase-mediated hydrolysis of hempseed oil in a packed-bed reactor and in-line purification of PUFA as mono- and diacylglycerols. FOOD AND BIOPRODUCTS PROCESSING (ISSN: 0960-3085) p. 345-353 Vol. 123. DOI: 10.1016/j.fbp.2020.07.009
  • Overturf E., Ravasio N.*, Zaccheria F., Tonin C., Patrucco A., Bertini F., Canetti M., Avramidou K., Speranza G., Bavaro T., Ubiali D. (2020) Towards a more sustainable circular bioeconomy. Innovative approaches to rice residue valorization: The RiceRes case study. BIORESOURCE TECHNOLOGY REPORTS (ISSN: 2589014X) Article number 100427 Vol. 11. DOI: 10.1016/J.BITEB.2020.100427
  • Semproli R., Vaccaro G., Ferrandi E.E., Vanoni M., Bavaro T., Marrubini G., Annunziata F., Conti P., Speranza G., Monti D.*, Tamborini L.*, Ubiali D.* (2020) Use of immobilized amine transaminase from Vibrio fluvialis under flow conditions for the synthesis of (S)-1-(5-fluoropyrimidin-2-yl)-ethanamine. CHEMCATCHEM (ISSN: 1867-3880) p. 1359-1367 Vol. 12 (5). DOI: 10.1002/cctc.201902080
  • Bruni M., Robescu M.S., Ubiali D., Marrubini G., Vanna R., Morasso C., Benucci I., Speranza G., Bavaro T.* (2020) Immobilization of γ‐glutamyl transpeptidase from equine kidney for the synthesis of kokumi compounds. CHEMCATCHEM (ISSN: 1867-3880) p. 210-218 Vol. 12 (1). DOI: 10.1002/cctc.201901464
  • Robescu M.S., Serra I.,* Terreni M., Ubiali D.,* Bavaro T. (2020) A multi-enzymatic cascade reaction for the synthesis of vidarabine 5'-monophosphate. CATALYSTS (2073-4344) Vol. 10 (1) Article number 60. DOI: 10.3390/catal10010060
  • Zheng C., Huang R., Bavaro T., Terreni M., Sollogoub M., Xu J., Zhang Y.* (2020) Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of new ganglioside GM3 analogues as potential agents for cancer therapy. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY, vol. 189, p. 112065-112074, ISSN: 1768-3254. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2020.112065
  • Hoyos P., Bavaro T.*, Perona A., Rumbero A., Tengattini S., Terreni M., Hernaiz M.J.* (2020) Highly efficient and sustainable synthesis of neoglycoproteins using galactosidases. ACS SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY & ENGINEERING, vol. 8, p. 6282-6292, ISSN: 2168-0485, DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.9b07785
  • Zheng C., Guan H., Liu Y., Li Z., Bavaro T., Terreni M., Sollogoub M., Xu J.*, Zhang J.* (2019) Chemoenzymatically synthesized ganglioside GM3 analogues with inhibitory effects on tumor cell growth and migration. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY, vol. 165, p. 107-114, ISSN: 0223-5234. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2019.01.016
  • Calleri E.,* Cattaneo G., Rabuffetti M., Serra I., Bavaro T., Massolini G., Speranza G., Ubiali D.* (2015) Flow-synthesis of nucleosides catalyzed by an immobilized purine nucleoside phosphorylase from Aeromonas hydrophila: integrated systems of reaction control and product purification. ADVANCED SYNTHESIS AND CATALYSIS (ISSN: 1615-4150) p. 2520-2528 Vol. 357. DOI: 10.1002/adsc.201500133

National Collaborations

Dipartimento di Chimica, Università degli Studi di Milano (Prof. Giovanna Speranza)
Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie Chimiche, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (SCITEC-CNR, Dott. Sergio Riva, Daniela Monti, Erica E. Ferrandi, Nicoletta Ravasio)
Dipartimento di Scienze Farmaceutiche, Università degli Studi di Milano (Prof. Lucia Tamborini)
Dipartimento di Scienze per gli Alimenti, la Nutrizione, l'Ambiente, Università degli Studi di Milano (Proff. Francesco Molinari, Concetta Compagno, Andrea Pinto)

International Collaborations

Department of Chemistry in Pharmaceutical Sciences (QUICIFARM), Pharmacy Faculty, Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), Spain (Proff. Andres R. Alcantara, Maria J. Hernaiz)
Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Section of Industrial Biotechnology, Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing Group, Aarhus University, Denmark (Prof. Selin Kara)
Institut Parisien de Chimie Moléculaire, Sorbonne Université, Paris, France (Dott. Yongmin Zhang)

Funded active projects

2021-2023: “Integrated platform for the sustainable production of bio-based surfactants from renewable resources” (BioSurf, Rif. 2020-1094) Bando: Economia Circolare: ricerca per un futuro sostenibile 2020, Fondazione Cariplo.

2020-2022: “Approvvigionamento energetico e gestione della risorsa idrica nell’ottica dell’Economia Circolare (Circular Economy for Water and Energy)” (CE4WE), Bando: POR FESR 2014-2020, Fondo europeo di sviluppo regionale e Regione Lombardia, D1139857, Call Hub Ricerca e Innovazione.



 screening of enzymes for application in organic synthesis; research and development of immobilized biocatalysts, stability assessment of the biocatalysts under storage and operative conditions; biocatalyst recyclability


Thermostated HPLC-UV-Vis/ELSD with an autosampler (Merck VWR), UV-Vis spectrophotometers (Shimadzu), Electrophoresis cells (Thermofisher and Biorad), Thermomixer (Eppendorf), Refrigerated centrifuge (Eppendorf), pHStats (Metrohm). Routinely used equipment and instruments for chemical synthesis and analysis. HPLC-MS, GC-MS, NMR accessible as Departmental or Interdepartmental facilities