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Proceedings Paper

Chemoelectrical energy conversion of adenosine triphosphate
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Paper Abstract

Plant and animal cell membranes transport charged species, neutral molecules and water through ion pumps and channels. The energy required for moving species against established concentration and charge gradients is provided by the biological fuel - adenosine triphosphate (ATP) -synthesized within the cell. The adenosine triphosphatase (ATPases) in a plant cell membrane hydrolyze ATP in the cell cytoplasm to pump protons across the cell membrane. This establishes a proton gradient across the membrane from the cell exterior into the cell cytoplasm. This proton motive force stimulates ion channels that transport nutrients and other species into the cell. This article discusses a device that converts the chemical energy stored in adenosine triphosphate into electrical power using a transporter protein, ATPase. The V-type ATPase proteins used in our prototype are extracted from red beet(Beta vulgaris) tonoplast membranes and reconstituted in a bilayer lipid membrane or BLM formed from POPC and POPS lipids. A pH7 medium that can support ATP hydrolysis is provided on both sides of the membrane and ATP is dissolved in the pH7 buffer on one side of the membrane. Hydrolysis of ATP results in the formation of a phosphate ion and adenosine diphosphate. The energy from the reaction activates ATPase in the BLM and moves a proton across the membrane. The charge gradient established across the BLM due to the reaction and ion transport is converted into electrical current by half-cell reference electrodes. The prototype ATPase cell with an effective BLM area of 4.15 mm2 carrying 15 &mgr;l of ATPase proteins was observed to develop a steady state peak power output of 70 nW, which corresponds to a specific power of 1.69 &mgr;W/cm2 and a current density of 43.4 &mgr;A/cm2 of membrane area.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 April 2007
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6525, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2007, 65250P (27 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.715715
Show Author Affiliations
Vishnu Baba Sundaresan, Virginia Tech (United States)
Stephen Andrew Sarles, Virginia Tech (United States)
Donald J. Leo, Virginia Tech (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6525:
Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2007
Yuji Matsuzaki; Mehdi Ahmadian; Donald J. Leo, Editor(s)

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