We tackle the challenge of bio-engineered light conversion using different approaches based on designed protein modifications. You can find more details on the our main approaches below.


MAIN RESEARCH LINES


Protein structure modulators for chromophore function modification. Conformational changes in Natural photosystems trigger changes in the chromophore energy states associated with key functions. Specific protein-dye interactions might have a role in boosting these backbone changes, but a scant understanding of their nature leads to an underestimation of their role. In our lab, we engineered bio-hybrid with key amino acids that act as structural modulators. We evaluate the impact of the structural modulators in the bio-hybrid conformation at different bio-exciton coupling regimes by assessing their effect at different levels, including folding landscape, photoactive molecule´s rotational freedom, and protein backbone dynamics. Using this information, we develop biophysical models that inform the structural modulator´s action mechanism and their role in the chromophore function modulation.


Engineered protein environments for exciton dynamics on demand. In Natural systems, amino acids impact the chromophore energy landscape being these effects key for this efficiency. Our interest is to unravel the mechanisms behind the amino acid's role in exciton decay selectivity. Towards this end, we design bio-hybrids with modifications, track the exciton evolution of their chromophores over time and correlate bio-excitonic coupling with exciton decay rate. Our results show the capacity of engineered protein environment to decouple exciton decay pathways and allow us to obtain mechanistic information on the amino acids´ effect in the chromophore´s energy pattern modification.


Selective light conversion for applications. We use optimized bio-hybrids to develop new materials with improved light conversion properties and show the potential of bio-engineered light conversion in applications like photocatalysis, emissive device generation, or magnetic tracker development.