Lecture: "Splicing Viruses and Single Protein Molecules into Electronics"

on April 3, 2012 at 2pm in the MAINZ seminar room, Staudinger Weg 9, room 03-122

Talk given by Prof. Gregory Weiss (University of California, Irvine, USA)

Splicing Viruses and Single Protein Molecules intoElectronicsOur laboratory focuses on developing new paradigms for connecting biotechnologyand electronics. We directly wire viruses and individual proteins into electroniccircuits, and watch what happens as electricity passes through them. For example,virus engineered with surfaces specific to bind to cancer biomarkers allow detection ofthe biomarkers electronically through integration films composed of an electrically conductiveorganic polymer (PEDOT). This approach allows rapid (<2-minutes), robust,and generalizable biosensor fabrication. We have also demonstrated individual proteinscovalently and non-covalently spot-welded into nanometer-scale circuits. Usingthe electronic signature of the resultant nanocircuit, the single protein can be examinedin real-time during protein unfolding, folding, binding, and enzymatic catalysis. For example,tethering a single lysozyme molecule to a carbon nanotube field effect transistorproduces a stable, high bandwidth transducer for protein motion. Results from examininglysozyme processing various substrates correlate with single molecule FRETstudies, but also extend our understanding of lysozyme dynamics to understand theenzyme’s responses to substrate branching, changes to the pH, and other conformationalchanges. The technique provides new glimpses into the biology of an enzymestudied for >100-years, and offers a platform to dissect enzymatic catalysis by manydifferent cellular enzymes.

Everybody interested is welcome!

T. Palberg/M. Kläui