Get access

Integration of Photoswitchable Proteins, Photosynthetic Reaction Centers and Semiconductor/Biomolecule Hybrids with Electrode Supports for Optobioelectronic Applications

Authors

  • Fuan Wang,

    1. Institute of Chemistry, Center of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, The Minerva Center for Biohybrid Complex Systems, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Xiaoqing Liu,

    1. Institute of Chemistry, Center of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, The Minerva Center for Biohybrid Complex Systems, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Itamar Willner

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Chemistry, Center of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, The Minerva Center for Biohybrid Complex Systems, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel
    • Institute of Chemistry, Center of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, The Minerva Center for Biohybrid Complex Systems, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel.
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Light-triggered biological processes provide the principles for the development of man-made optobioelectronic systems. This Review addresses three recently developed topics in the area of optobioelectronics, while addressing the potential applications of these systems. The topics discussed include: (i) the reversible photoswitching of the bioelectrocatalytic functions of redox proteins by the modification of proteins with photoisomerizable units or by the integration of proteins with photoisomerizable environments; (ii) the integration of natural photosynthetic reaction centers with electrodes and the construction of photobioelectrochemical cells and photobiofuel cells; and (iii) the synthesis of biomolecule/semiconductor quantum dots hybrid systems and their immobilization on electrodes to yield photobioelectrochemical and photobiofuel cell elements. The fundamental challenge in the tailoring of optobioelectronic systems is the development of means to electrically contact photoactive biomolecular assemblies with the electrode supports. Different methods to establish electrical communication between the photoactive biomolecular assemblies and electrodes are discussed. These include the nanoscale engineering of the biomolecular nanostructures on surfaces, the development of photoactive molecular wires and the coupling of photoinduced electron transfer reactions with the redox functions of proteins. The different possible applications of optobioelectronic systems are discussed, including their use as photosensors, the design of biosensors, and the construction of solar energy conversion and storage systems.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary