Graduate student Nick Polizzi and collaborators in Beratan's lab have built a theoretical model to describe how charge flows through bacterial appendages, known as pili. Pili are implicated in the exchange of electrons between living organisms and inorganic substrates. These studies may assist in the design of future semi-biological solar cells that would convert sunlight into liquid fuels, with the help of photovoltaics that are "plugged" into living bacteria.Read More
Recent work from the Craig lab reports a functional group that grows longer in response to applied machincal forces, a response that can subsequently be reversed by shining light on the sample. Read more about the new mechanophore and its properties here.