Non-porous poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) [p(HEMA)] nanoparticles were prepared by surfactant free emulsion polymerization. The p(HEMA) nanoparticles was about 200 nm diameter, spherical form, and non-porous. Reactive Red 120 (RR 120) was covalently attached to the p(HEMA) nanoparticles and Ni(II) ions were incorporated to attach dye molecules. Urease was immobilized onto RR120-Ni(II) attached p(HEMA) nanoparticles via adsorption. The maximum urease adsorption capacity of RR120-Ni( II) attached p(HEMA) nanoparticles was 480.01 mg g(-1) nanoparticles at pH 7.0 in phosphate buffer. It was observed that urease could be repeatedly adsorbed and desorbed without significant loss in adsorption amount. K-m values were 21.50 and 34.06 mM for the free and adsorbed enzyme. The V-max values were 4 U for the free enzyme and 3.3 U for the adsorbed enzyme. The optimum pH was 25 mM pH 7 phosphate buffer for free and adsorbed enzyme. The optimum temperature was determined at 35 degrees C and 55 degrees C for the free and adsorbed enzyme, respectively. These findings show considerable promise for this material as an adsorption matrix in biotechnological applications. (C) 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.