CMST COST Action TD1102
Photosynthetic proteins for technological applications: biosensors and biochips (PHOTOTECH)
By converting solar energy into chemical energy, photosynthesis supports basically all life on Earth. Key to this process is the use of light energy to power electron transfer across a charge-impermeable lipid membrane. In recent years it has been shown that the nanoscale photosynthetic pigment-protein complexes that catalyse this reaction can be isolated from the native organism in a stable form and interfaced with a conducting metal or carbon electrode surface. The activity of these proteins when integrated with non-biological electronic components can be monitored through their highly distinctive absorbance and fluorescence properties, and through the measurement of light-induced photocurrents. In addition the structure and composition of these structurally-characterised proteins can be altered through genetic engineering. These properties can be exploited for the construction of optoelectronic devices and mono- and/or multi-molecular layers of either natural or engineered proteins for the development of commercial biosensors and biochips.
The objective is to explore, interface and merge the various aspects of the development of photosynthetic proteins-based biodevices with a focus on biosensors, that provide a complementary innovative tool with respect to traditional analytical chemical methods. The purpose will be the creation of a new research platform for the Design and Production of Bioelectronic Devices by networking researchers and professionals that can combine and integrate diverse disciplines. The main outcome of this Action is the co-development of a fully characterized class of bio-organic-inorganic hybrid biosensors to be first applied in environmental monitoring and agrofood quality analysis.
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