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Bernal Institute Research Forum

Thu, 08 Jun 2017

Date: Thursday, June 8, 2017
Time: 12:00 to 13:00
Duration: One hour
Contact: Joan O'Riordan -
Location: MSG-025 MSSI Building Extension, Ireland

Professor Lo Gorton, Lund University, Sweden.

‘Wiring’ of Bacterial Cells with Osmium Redox Polymers for Improved Electrochemical Communication Between Cells and Electrodes

Electrochemical transfer communication between bacterial cells/biological membranes and electrodes can be obtained through the use of freely diffusing monomeric redox mediators. We have, however, also shown that flexible osmium redox polymers can work as efficient mediators for a number of both Gram– as well as Gram bacteria. This presentation will cover two aspects of our current research in this area: (1) Electrochemical communication between whole viable photosynthetic bacterial cells as well as with eukaryote systems (thylakoid membranes from spinach, eukaryote algae) and electrodes through the use of Os polymers. Here we also report on how to increase the efficiency of the charge transfer from the photosynthetic reaction centres to the electrode and to increase the stability of the system. (2) To be able to understand how a redox-polymer can communicate with a bacterial cell we have also studied the role of each component of the comparatively simple respiratory chain of the Gram Enterococcus faecalis. This bacterium is a facultative anaerobe and aerobic respiration depends on the presence of heme, which serves as a cofactor for cytoplasmic catalase and membrane bound cytochrome bd oxidase. E. faecalis does not require heme to grow and lacks the genes for its synthesis but is able to take up heme or its analogues from the environment. When the cells are supplied with heme, a minimal respiratory chain is built up, including several NADH dehydrogenases, a demethylmenaquinol pool in the membrane and the heme-dependent cytochrome bd oxidase. The wild type as well as three mutant strains of E. faecalis with mutations within the electron transport chain were investigated under different experimental and culture conditions to identify possible ways of the cell-electrode communication.

Lo Gorton was the chair professor in analytical chemistry at Lund University between 1997 and 2016 and since August 2016 he is emeritus. His expertise and research interests mainly focus on bioelectrochemistry. His research is funded by national and European grants. He is a Fellow of the International Society of Electrochemistry since 2012 and was awarded The International DropSens Award in 2013, the Katzumi Niki prize in Bioelectrochemistry in 2014, the EuCheMS DAC award in analytical chemistry in 2017. He is currently the President of the Bioelectrochemical Society. Lo Gorton is the author of over 450 peer-reviewed publications that have been cited over 20,000 times (H-index is 85).


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