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Directed evolution of bacteriorhodopsin for applications in bioelectronics.

Authors
  • Wagner, Nicole L
  • Greco, Jordan A
  • Ranaghan, Matthew J
  • Birge, Robert R
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of The Royal Society Interface
Publisher
The Royal Society
Publication Date
Jul 06, 2013
Volume
10
Issue
84
Pages
20130197–20130197
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2013.0197
PMID: 23676894
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

In nature, biological systems gradually evolve through complex, algorithmic processes involving mutation and differential selection. Evolution has optimized biological macromolecules for a variety of functions to provide a comparative advantage. However, nature does not optimize molecules for use in human-made devices, as it would gain no survival advantage in such cooperation. Recent advancements in genetic engineering, most notably directed evolution, have allowed for the stepwise manipulation of the properties of living organisms, promoting the expansion of protein-based devices in nanotechnology. In this review, we highlight the use of directed evolution to optimize photoactive proteins, with an emphasis on bacteriorhodopsin (BR), for device applications. BR, a highly stable light-activated proton pump, has shown great promise in three-dimensional optical memories, real-time holographic processors and artificial retinas.

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