Fabrication of ultrasmall functional machines and their integration within ultrasmall areas or volumes can be useful for creation of novel technologies. The ultimate goal of the development of ultrasmall machines and device systems is to construct functional structures where independent molecules operate as independent device components. To realize exotic functions, use of enzymes in device structures is an attractive solution because enzymes can be regarded as efficient machines possessing high reaction efficiencies and specificities and can operate even under ambient conditions. In this review, recent developments in enzyme immobilization for advanced functions including device applications are summarized from the viewpoint of micro/nano-level structural control, or nanoarchitectonics. Examples are roughly classified as organic soft matter, inorganic soft materials or integrated/organized media. Soft matter such as polymers and their hybrids provide a medium appropriate for entrapment and encapsulation of enzymes. In addition, self-immobilization based on self-assembly and array formation results in enzyme nanoarchitectures with soft functions. For the confinement of enzymes in nanospaces, hard inorganic mesoporous materials containing well-defined channels play an important role. Enzymes that are confined exhibit improved stability and controllable arrangement, which are useful for formation of functional relays and for their integration into artificial devices. Layer-by-layer assemblies as well as organized lipid assemblies such as Langmuir–Blodgett films are some of the best media for architecting controllable enzyme arrangements. The ultrathin forms of these films facilitate their connection with external devices such as electrodes and transistors. Artificial enzymes and enzyme-mimicking catalysts are finally briefly described as examples of enzyme functions involving non-biological materials. These systems may compensate for the drawbacks of natural enzymes, such as their instabilities under harsh conditions. We believe that enzymes and their mimics will be freely coupled, organized and integrated upon demand in near future technologies.
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