Many proteins lose enzymatic activity in harsh environments, such as non-optimal pH or temperature, or exposure to organic solvents. This invention is based on the discovery that by attaching certain proteins to single-walled carbon nanotubes ("SWNT"), protein function under such harsh conditions can be dramatically improved. Two enzymes which were stabilized in this manner, subtilisin carlsberg and soybean peroxidase, were found to be orders of magnitude more active than the native state enzyme when exposed to severe environments. Additionally, the enzymes attached to the SWNTs were substantially more active than when the enzymes were attached to other carbonaceous supports, such as highly ordered pyrolytic graphite, indicating that the nanoscale environment is important for increased activity and stability of these enzymes. These stable conjugates were incorporated into polymers to generate films, with potential applications to create anti-fouling and anti-microbial surfaces (paints or coatings for buildings, medical instruments, vehicles, etc.).