Mucor javanicus lipase was effectively immobilized on silica nanoparticles which were prepared by Stober method. Glycidyl methacrylate (GMA), which bears a reactive epoxide group, was incorporated onto the surface of the nanoparticles and the epoxide groups were directly used for multipoint coupling of the enzyme. We also introduced amine residues by coupling ethylene diamine (EDA) to the epoxide group of GMA. M. javanicus lipase was covalently immobilized onto the amine-activated silica nanoparticles by using glutaraldehyde (GA) or 1,4 phenylene diisothiocyanate (NCS) as a coupling agent. The lipase loading capacities of the EDA-GA and EDA-NCS nanoparticles (81.3 and 60.9 mg g(-1), respectively) were much higher than that of the unmodified GMA nanoparticles (18.9mg g(-1)). The relative hydrolytic activities in an aqueous medium of the lipases immobilized on EDA-GA and EDA-NCS attached silica nanoparticles (115% and 107%, respectively) were significantly high and almost in the same range with the free enzyme. This may be due to the improvement of the enzyme-substrate interaction by avoiding the potential aggregation of free lipase molecules. The immobilized lipases were also more resistant to temperature inactivation than the free form. This work demonstrates that the size-controlled silica nanoparticles can be efficiently employed as host materials for enzyme immobilization leading to high activity and stability of the immobilized enzymes. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.