Table of Contents
Molecular Biology International
Volume 2012, Article ID 910707, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/910707
Research Article

Förster Resonance Energy Transfer between Core/Shell Quantum Dots and Bacteriorhodopsin

1Department of Mechanical Engineering Mechanics, Michigan Technological University, 815 RL Smith, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
2Multi-Scale Technologies Institute, Michigan Technological University, 815 RL Smith, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
3WMRD, US Army Research Laboratory, 4600 Deercreek Loop, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Adelphi, MD 21005, USA
4Department of Biological Sciences, Michigan Technological University, 815 RL Smith, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
5SEDD, US Army Research Laboratory, AMSRD-ARL-SE-EM, 2800 Powder Mill Road, Adelphi, MD 20783, USA

Received 23 March 2012; Accepted 2 May 2012

Academic Editor: E. E. Strehler

Copyright © 2012 Mark H. Griep et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

An energy transfer relationship between core-shell CdSe/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) and the optical protein bacteriorhodopsin (bR) is shown, demonstrating a distance-dependent energy transfer with 88.2% and 51.1% of the QD energy being transferred to the bR monomer at separation distances of 3.5 nm and 8.5 nm, respectively. Fluorescence lifetime measurements isolate nonradiative energy transfer, other than optical absorptive mechanisms, with the effective QD excited state lifetime reducing from 18.0 ns to 13.3 ns with bR integration, demonstrating the Förster resonance energy transfer contributes to 26.1% of the transferred QD energy at the 3.5 nm separation distance. The established direct energy transfer mechanism holds the potential to enhance the bR spectral range and sensitivity of energies that the protein can utilize, increasing its subsequent photocurrent generation, a significant potential expansion of the applicability of bR in solar cell, biosensing, biocomputing, optoelectronic, and imaging technologies.