Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sustainable light sources: LEDs from bacterial production

25.02.2020

In the FET Open project ENABLED, TU Graz protein-designer Gustav Oberdorfer is working together with researchers from Spain and Italy on environmentally friendly and inexpensive light-emitting diodes.

The basis for this vision is being laid at the Institute of Biochemistry at Graz University of Technology, where Gustav Oberdorfer and his team are designing proteins with the help of simulation software.


Gustav Oberdorfer has been researching at the Institute of Biochemistry at TU Graz since February 2018.

© Lunghammer – TU Graz


In 2018, TU Graz protein designer Gustav Oberdorfer received an ERC Starting Grant for his work.

© Lunghammer – TU Graz

"For this project, we’re analysing fluorescent protein structures from nature and testing how we need to modify them so that they bind different fluorescent organic molecules," explains Oberdorfer.

LEDs emit short-wave blue light which is then absorbed by a layer of inorganic lighting materials and converted into light of longer wavelength. The entire spectrum then results in the white light as we perceive it.

Oberdorfer developed the idea for the project together with cooperation partners from Spain and Italy who worked on the topic independently of each other and were able to achieve promising success.

Environmentally friendly LED coating

Rubén Costa from the Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies (IMDEA) developed a stable organic LED coating as an alternative to conventional LED coatings, which usually consist of problematic rare earth minerals. The mixture consists of organic polymers in which he and his team managed to embed fluorescent proteins.

These fluorescent proteins are found in marine organisms and are used by them as a light source for hunting, communication and self-protection. The luminosity that can be achieved with such devices is however still too low to use them in lamps that illuminate entire rooms.

Organic dyes with good light emitting efficiency

Researchers of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Turin led by Claudia Barolo are in turn dealing with the synthesis of organic dyes that have a good light emitting efficiency and are used in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs).

However, many of these dyes are costly and complex to synthesize. As part of the FET Open project, Barolo and her team are now looking for a suitable dye that can be produced with minimal effort and that can be modified so that it can be incorporated into proteins as an artificial amino acid.

FET Open project ENABLED combines the best of all the sub-sectors

The FET Open project ENABLED now brings together the successes of all groups. The goal is to use bacteria to develop completely new artificial fluorescent proteins. To this end, the Graz biochemists first simulate thousands of different hypothetical proteins that are to bind specifically to the synthetic dyes.

A handful of these proteins – namely those closest to the structure of naturally fluorescent proteins – are then ordered as synthetic DNA constructs.

The next step is to investigate whether these proteins really bind the dyes for which they were designed. As soon as this is confirmed, these new, artificial fluorescent proteins will be integrated into the polymer matrix and tested for their suitability with regard to bio-LEDs.

"The plan is that we will 'harvest' the proteins from the bacterial cell; in other words, we will be able to grow some part of the light sources," said Oberdorfer, hoping for a proof of principle at the end of the project in four years' time.

Cooperation partners

- CIC biomaGUNE - Centro de Investigación Cooperativa en Biomateriales (Spain)
- IMDEA Materials Institute (Spain)
- TU Graz, Institute of Biochemistry (Austria)
- University of Oviedo (Spain)
- University of Turin (Italy)

The ENABLED research project is part of TU Graz’s Field of Expertise "Human & Biotechnology", one of five research foci of Graz University of Technology (https://www.tugraz.at/forschung/fields-of-expertise/human-biotechnology/news-sto...).
It is funded by the FET Open research funding programme under the EU Horizon2020 programme to the amount of approx. 2.6 million euros. FET Open is reserved for unconventional, new research ideas at an early stage which aim at breakthroughs for new technologies.

You can read more about Gustav Obersdorfers work on Planet Research (https://www.tugraz.at/en/tu-graz/services/news-stories/tu-graz-news/singleview/a...).

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Gustav OBERDORFER
Mag.rer.nat. Dr.rer.nat.
TU Graz | Institute of Biochemistry
Phone: +43 316 873 6462
gustav.oberdorfer@tugraz.at

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.tugraz.at/institute/ibc/home/ (Institute of Biochemistry, TU Graz)
https://www.cicbiomagune.es/ (CIC biomaGUNE - Centro de Investigación Cooperativa en Biomateriales)
https://materials.imdea.org/ (IMDEA Materials Institute)
http://www.uniovi.es/en/inicio (University of Oviedo)
https://www.unito.it/ (University of Turin)
https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/fet-open (FET Open)

Mag. Christoph Pelzl, MSc | Technische Universität Graz

Further reports about: FET LED LED coating bacterial coating fluorescent light sources proteins synthetic

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Developing a digital holography-based multimodal imaging system to visualize living cells
02.06.2020 | Kobe University

nachricht Possible physical trace of short-term memory found
02.06.2020 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New measurement exacerbates old problem

Two prominent X-ray emission lines of highly charged iron have puzzled astrophysicists for decades: their measured and calculated brightness ratios always disagree. This hinders good determinations of plasma temperatures and densities. New, careful high-precision measurements, together with top-level calculations now exclude all hitherto proposed explanations for this discrepancy, and thus deepen the problem.

Hot astrophysical plasmas fill the intergalactic space, and brightly shine in stellar coronae, active galactic nuclei, and supernova remnants. They contain...

Im Focus: Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme

In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".

Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...

Im Focus: New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...

Im Focus: I-call - When microimplants communicate with each other / Innovation driver digitization - "Smart Health“

Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.

When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...

Im Focus: When predictions of theoretical chemists become reality

Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.

Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Perfect optics through light scattering

02.06.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

The digital construction site: A smarter way of building with mobile robots

02.06.2020 | Architecture and Construction

Process behind the organ-specific elimination of chromosomes in plants unveiled

02.06.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>