Surface display of a redox enzyme and its site-specific wiring to gold electrodes

Liron Amir, Stewart A. Carnally, Josep Rayo, Shaked Rosenne, Sarit Melamed Yerushalmi, Orr Schlesinger, Michael M. Meijler, Lital Alfonta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The generation of a current through interaction between bacteria and electrodes has been explored by various methods. We demonstrate the attachment of living bacteria through a surface displayed redox enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase II. The unnatural amino acid para-azido-l-phenylalanine was incorporated into a specific site of the displayed enzyme, facilitating electron transfer between the enzyme and an electrode. In order to attach the bacteria carrying the surface displayed enzyme to a surface, a linker containing an alkyne and a thiol moiety on opposite ends was synthesized and attached to the dehydrogenase site specifically through a copper(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition reaction. Using this approach we were able to covalently link bacteria to gold-coated surfaces and to gold nanoparticles, while maintaining viability and catalytic activity. We show the performance of a biofuel cell using these modified bacteria at the anode, which resulted in site-specific dependent fuel cell performance for at least a week. This is the first example of site-specific attachment of a true living biohybrid to inorganic material.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)70-73
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 9 Jan 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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