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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Sugar-derived Glasses Support Thermal and Photo-initiated Electron Transfer Processes over Macroscopic Distances.

Trehalose-derived glasses are shown to support long range electron transfer reactions between spatially well separated donors and protein acceptors. The results indicate that these matrices can be used not only to greatly stabilize protein structures but also to facilitate both thermal and photo-initiated hemeprotein reduction over large macroscopic distances. To date the promise of exciting new protein-based technologies that can harness the exceptional tunability of protein functionality has been significantly thwarted by both intrinsic instability and stringent solvent/environment requirements for the expression of functional properties. The presented results raise the prospect of overcoming these limitations with respect to incorporating redox active proteins into solid state devices such as tunable batteries, switches, and solar cells. The findings also have implications for formulations intended to enhance long term storage of biomaterials, new protein-based synthetic strategies, and biophysical studies of functional intermediates trapped under nonequilibrium conditions. In addition, the study shows that certain sugars such as glucose or tagatose, when added to redox-inactive glassy matrices, can be used as a source of thermal electrons that can be harvested by suitable redox active proteins, raising the prospect of using common sugars as an electron source in solid state thermal fuel cells.[1]


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