Novel hydrophobic nanospheres with an average size of 200 nm utilizing N,N'-bis-(3-(4-morpholino)-propyl)-3,4,9,10-perylenetetracarboxylic acid dimide (MPPDI) as a monomer were prepared by surfactant free emulsion polymerization of 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and MPPDI conducted in an aqueous dispersion medium. The nanospheres were used for the adsorption of lysozyme. The system parameters, such as effect of the adsorption conditions (i.e. enzyme concentration, medium pH, and temperature) and the reusability of the support were studied. Specific surface area of the nonporous nanospheres was found 664 m(2)/g. Poly(HEMA-MPPDI) nanospheres were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), elemental analysis and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Then, poly(HEMA-MPPDI) nanospheres were used in the adsorption of lysozyme in batch system. Using an optimized adsorption protocol, 400 mg lysozyme/g nanosphere loading capacity was obtained. The adsorption phenomena appeared to follow a typical Langmuir isotherm. Lysozyme could be repeatedly adsorbed and desorbed with poly(HEMA-MPPDI) nanospheres without noticeable loss in the adsorption capacity. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.