Jack bean urease (urea aminohydrolase, EC 184.108.40.206) was immobilized onto modified non-porous poly(ethylene glycol dimethacrylate/2-hydroxy ethylene methacrylate), (poly(EGDMA/HEMA)). microbeads prepared by suspension copolymerization for the potential use in hemoperfusion columns, not previously reported. The conditions of immobilization; enzyme concentration, medium pH, substrate and ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid (EDTA) presence in the immobilization medium in different concentrations, enzyme loading ratio, processing time and immobilization temperature were investigated for highest apparent activity. Immobilized enzyme retained 73% of its original activity for 75 days of repeated use with a deactivation constant k(d) = 3.72 x 10(-3) day(-1). A canned non-linear regression program was used to estimate the intrinsic kinetic parameters of immobilized enzyme with a low value of observable Thiele modulus (phi < 0.3) and these parameters were compared with those of free urease. The best-fit kinetic parameters of a Michaelis-Menten model were estimated as V-m = 3.318 x 10(-4) mu mol/s mg bound enzyme proteins K-m = 15.94 mM for immobilized, and V-m = 1.074 mu mol NH3/s mg enzyme protein, K-m = 14.49 mM for free urease. The drastic decrease in V-m value was attributed to steric effects, conformational changes in enzyme structure or denaturation of the enzyme during immobilization. Nevertheless, the change in K-m value was insignificant for the unchanged affinity of the substrate with immobilization. For higher immobilized urease activity, smaller particle size and concentrated urease with higher specific activity could be used in the immobilization process. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.