Light conversion is at the basis of life evolution and the mechanism of energy harvesting is diffused among all living beings, starting from some primeval organisms, named archaea. In primitive organisms (bacteria, algae, archaea), photosensitive proteins convert light energy into chemical/electrical energy. In more evolved species (mammals and vertebrates), they do not cover the role of energy harvesters but implement the sense of sight, allowing the activation of cones and rods in the retina  . Adaptation taught the marine plankton to modulate the activation of its photosensitive proteins at different wavelengths, when the deepness of the ocean in which it lives changes . Understanding the mechanisms that govern the structure and functioning of many photosensitive proteins is still challenging. Even if some traits in the process of activation are common and well elucidated, the signal they produce can be quite different and needs further investigation. In this regard, besides the experiments, molecular dynamics simulations have emerged as a powerful tool to capture the conformational dynamics and local motions, opening the way to discuss the principle and application of these models for biological systems and providing a bridge between the atomistic and the mesoscopic scale  . With the aim of reviewing model and performance of photosensitive proteins when used in electronic devices, we present a collection of investigations focusing on the mechanisms of charge transport and the renewed experiments, in no way pretending to be exhaustive, but highlighting the features, which have received major interest in the last few years. .

In-silico studies of Macromolecules as Sensors

Alfinito, E
Membro del Collaboration Group
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Cataldo,R
Secondo
Membro del Collaboration Group
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In corso di stampa

Abstract

Light conversion is at the basis of life evolution and the mechanism of energy harvesting is diffused among all living beings, starting from some primeval organisms, named archaea. In primitive organisms (bacteria, algae, archaea), photosensitive proteins convert light energy into chemical/electrical energy. In more evolved species (mammals and vertebrates), they do not cover the role of energy harvesters but implement the sense of sight, allowing the activation of cones and rods in the retina  . Adaptation taught the marine plankton to modulate the activation of its photosensitive proteins at different wavelengths, when the deepness of the ocean in which it lives changes . Understanding the mechanisms that govern the structure and functioning of many photosensitive proteins is still challenging. Even if some traits in the process of activation are common and well elucidated, the signal they produce can be quite different and needs further investigation. In this regard, besides the experiments, molecular dynamics simulations have emerged as a powerful tool to capture the conformational dynamics and local motions, opening the way to discuss the principle and application of these models for biological systems and providing a bridge between the atomistic and the mesoscopic scale  . With the aim of reviewing model and performance of photosensitive proteins when used in electronic devices, we present a collection of investigations focusing on the mechanisms of charge transport and the renewed experiments, in no way pretending to be exhaustive, but highlighting the features, which have received major interest in the last few years. .
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11587/470924
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