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Reedijk Symposium 2022: Towards Compartmentalized Biohybrid Photocatalysis

Friday 28 October 2022
Gorlaeus Lecture Hall Building (collegezalengebouw), Einsteinweg 57
Lecture Hall 1


In nature, charge recombination in photosystems is minimised by efficient charge separation across the thylakoid membrane. In a semi-artificial photosynthetic approach, we aim to mimic this principle by coupling photosensitising or photocatalytic nanoparticles (NPs) to lipid vesicles. Key to this approach has been an icosahaem membrane protein, MtrCAB from Shewanella oneidensis MR-1. In this protein, twenty haems form a ~15 nm long molecular wire, which efficiently transfer electrons across lipid membranes. The interaction between light-harvesting NPs and MtrCAB is confirmed by life-time fluorescence, X-ray footprinting mass spectrometry and photoelectrochemistry. Transmembrane photoreduction is observed in liposomes loaded with redox-active dyes and enzymes. We propose that these biohybrid systems can improve performance of whole-cell biophotocatalysts in the future.


After studying Biology in Utrecht, Lars Jeuken started his PhD studies in 1995 in Leiden on the structure-function relationship of copper proteins. After a Post-Doc in Oxford (1999-2002), where he learned bioelectrochemistry, his was awarded a BBSRC David Phillips fellowship, which he took to Leeds to study respiratory membrane enzymes with electrochemistry. In Leeds, he received a ERC consolidator grant and became professor in 2017 while studying novel hybrid nanoparticle-biocatalytic system for solar fuel production. In 2021, he moved to Leiden where he continues his research.

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