Cell-Free Synthetic Biology Chassis for Nanocatalytic Photon-to-Hydrogen Conversion

Peng Wang, Angela Y. Chang, Valentyn Novosad, Vladimir V. Chupin, Richard D. Schaller, Elena A. Rozhkova*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We report on an entirely man-made nano-bio architecture fabricated through noncovalent assembly of a cell-free expressed transmembrane proton pump and TiO2 semiconductor nanoparticles as an efficient nanophotocatalyst for H2 evolution. The system produces hydrogen at a turnover of about 240 μmol of H2 (μmol protein)-1 h-1 and 17.74 mmol of H2 (μmol protein)-1 h-1 under monochromatic green and white light, respectively, at ambient conditions, in water at neutral pH and room temperature, with methanol as a sacrificial electron donor. Robustness and flexibility of this approach allow for systemic manipulation at the nanoparticle-bio interface toward directed evolution of energy transformation materials and artificial systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6739-6745
Number of pages7
JournalACS nano
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 25 2017


  • cell-free expression
  • hydrogen
  • nanodisc TiO nanoparticles
  • noncovalent assembly
  • proton pump
  • purple membranes
  • solar-to-fuel energy conversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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