Enzyme Mimics for Engineered Biomimetic Cascade Nanoreactors: Mechanism, Applications, and Prospects

Xianlong Zhang, Guoliang Li, Guang Chen, Di Wu, Yongning Wu, Tony D. James

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

85 Citations (SciVal)


Multiple enzyme-driven biological catalytic cascades occur in living organisms, guiding highly efficient and selective transformations of substrates. Inspired by the merits of these biological catalytic cascade systems, enormous efforts have been devoted to developing novel cascade catalytic systems to mimic biological cascade catalytic reactions over the past few years. Nanozymes, a class of enzyme mimics, are nanomaterials with enzyme-like catalytic activity. The emergence and development of nanozymes has significantly advanced the development of biomimetic cascade nanoreactors. Currently, biomimetic cascade nanoreactors driven by advanced nanozymes have been widely used and exhibit many advantages such as superior cascade catalytic efficiency and high stability, resulting in significant advancements in biosensing and biomedical applications. The latest advances in understanding the cascade catalytic mechanism of nanozyme-engineered biomimetic cascade catalytic nanoreactors and their progressive applications for biosensing and biomedical applications are comprehensively covered here. First, nanozyme and enzyme/nanozyme-engineered biomimetic cascade catalytic nanoreactors are categorized according to their catalytic mechanism and properties. Then, the biosensing and biomedical applications, including cancer therapy, antibacterial activity, antioxidation, and hyperuricemia therapy of the cascade catalytic systems are covered. The conclusion describes the most important challenges and opportunities remaining in this exciting area of research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2106139
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number50
Early online date8 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21677085), the Science and Technology Nova Plan of Shaanxi Province (2019KJXX‐010), Newton International Fellowships Programme of Royal Society (NIF\R1\192293), the Project funded by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2018 M640574), and the Youth Innovation Team of Shaanxi Universities (Food Quality and Safety). T.D.J. wishes to thank the Royal Society for a Wolfson Research Merit Award and the Open Research Fund of the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Henan Normal University for support (2020ZD01).


  • biomedicine
  • biomimetic cascade catalysis
  • biosensing
  • enzyme mimics
  • nanoreactors
  • nanozymes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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