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Bacterial Wiring for Energy Conversion and Remediation (BacWire)
Start date: Oct 1, 2009, End date: Sep 30, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The aim of the project is to develop a new paradigm for the simultaneous cogeneration of energy and bioremediation using electro-active bacteria. A new nano-structured transducer that efficiently connects to these bacteria will be developed, aiming to the production of devices with superior performance across a range of applications including microbial fuel cells, whole cell biosensors and bioreactors. Elucidation of mechanisms by which bacteria transport electrons to solid electrodes is crucial. In this way, well-defined surfaces of single crystals and multilayered gold deposits on quartz elements will be used to resolve the interfacial electrochemistry of both, bacteria and isolated bacterial surface redox molecules. The spatial distribution of cytochromes in the cell surface will be determined by AFM and those involved in the electric connection to electrodes will be studied in detail. Nanoparticle-containing molecular bridges will be designed and constructed to connect electro-active bacteria to the electrode. Afterwards, tethered bacterial biofilms will be used in the development of technological application including reactors for the simultaneous cleaning of wastewater and the generation of clean energy.
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