Invitation to Cluster’s 3 Excellence Chemistry Lecture titled: "Compartmentalized Biohybrid Photocatalysis"

Date: 29.05.2024

You are cordially invited to a talk organized by Cluster 3, titled: “Catalysis and materials for sustainable transformations”.

Our guest will be Prof. Lars Jeuken of the University of Leiden from the Netherlands, the talk will take place on Thursday June 06, 2024 at 10 am in IChF Aula. Lars Jeuken aims to understand the mechanism of respiratory enzymes at the molecular level by developing novel biophysical tools. He also aims to exploit bacterial respiration using biohybrid approaches for solar fuel production. He is the recipient of the ERC Consolidator grant.

Talk title: "Compartmentalized Biohybrid Photocatalysis".


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 light-harvesting 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. Interaction and photo-induced electron transfer between light-harvesting NPs and MtrCAB is studied, among others, with life-time fluorescence, X-ray footprinting mass spectrometry and photoelectrochemistry. Transmembrane photoreduction is observed in liposomes loaded with redox-active dyes. Finally, by encapsulating biocatalysts like hydrogenase in the liposomes, a compartmentalized biohybrid photocatalytic system has been realised. We envision that these approaches can ultimately be used to develop whole-cell biophotocatalysis in the future.