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Living Yeast Cells as a Controllable Biosynthesizer for Fluorescent Quantum Dots

Authors

  • Ran Cui,

    1. College of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Biology and Medicine of the Ministry of Education Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072 (China)
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  • Hui-Hui Liu,

    1. College of Life Sciences Wuhan University Wuhan 430072 (China)
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  • Hai-Yan Xie,

    1. School of Life Science and Technology Beijing Institute of Technology Beijing 100081 (China)
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  • Zhi-Ling Zhang,

    1. College of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Biology and Medicine of the Ministry of Education Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072 (China)
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  • Yi-Ran Yang,

    1. College of Life Sciences Wuhan University Wuhan 430072 (China)
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  • Dai-Wen Pang,

    Corresponding author
    1. College of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Biology and Medicine of the Ministry of Education Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072 (China)
    • College of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Biology and Medicine of the Ministry of Education Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072 (China).
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  • Zhi-Xiong Xie,

    Corresponding author
    1. College of Life Sciences Wuhan University Wuhan 430072 (China)
    • College of Life Sciences Wuhan University Wuhan 430072 (China).
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  • Bei-Bei Chen,

    1. College of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Biology and Medicine of the Ministry of Education Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072 (China)
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  • Bin Hu,

    1. College of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Biology and Medicine of the Ministry of Education Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072 (China)
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  • Ping Shen

    1. College of Life Sciences Wuhan University Wuhan 430072 (China)
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Abstract

There are currently some problems in the field of chemical synthesis, such as environmental impact, energy loss, and safety, that need to be tackled urgently. An interdisciplinary approach, based on different backgrounds, may succeed in solving these problems. Organisms can be chosen as potential platforms for materials fabrication, since biosystems are natural and highly efficient. Here, an example of how to solve some of these chemical problems through biology, namely, through a novel biological strategy of coupling intracellular irrelated biochemical reactions for controllable synthesis of multicolor CdSe quantum dots (QDs) using living yeast cells as a biosynthesizer, is demonstrated. The unique fluorescence properties of CdSe QDs can be utilized to directly and visually judge the biosynthesis phase to fully demonstrate this strategy. By such a method, CdSe QDs, emitting at a variety of single fluorescence wavelengths, can be intracellularly, controllably synthesized at just 30°C instead of at 300°C with combustible, explosive, and toxic organic reagents. This green biosynthetic route is a novel strategy of coupling, with biochemical reactions taking place irrelatedly, both in time and space. It involves a remarkable decrease in reaction temperature, from around 300 °C to 30 °C and excellent color controllability of CdSe photoluminescence. It is well known that to control the size of nanocrystals is a mojor challenge in the biosynthesis of high-quality nanomaterials. The present work demonstrates clearly that biological systems can be creatively utilized to realize controllable unnatural biosynthesis that normally does not exist, offering new insights for sustainable chemistry.

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