Energy Transfer Induced by Dye Encapsulation in a Hybrid Nanoparticle-Purple Membrane Reversible Assembly

Gleiciani de Q. Silveira, Zhaowei Chen, Edward F. Barry, Benjamin T. Diroll, Byeongdu Lee, Tijana Rajh, Elena A. Rozhkova, Philip D. Laible, H. Christopher Fry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The purple membrane (PM) isolated from the bacteria Halobacterium salinarum (H. salinarum) arranges the transmembrane proton pump bacteriorhodopsin (bR) in a 2D hexagonal crystalline lattice. Here, PM sheets containing native bR bend into tube-like structures with open edges under acidic pH conditions. When decorated with gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), these same PM sheets yield a sealed tube assembly. Upon Rhodamine B (Rh B) sequestration inside the sealed tube, a dramatic decrease in Rh B fluorescence lifetime (τf) from 1.5 ns (unencapsulated) to 14 ps (encapsulated) is observed. The dramatic decrease in lifetime is attributed to energy transfer between AuNPs and Rh B. Subsequent release from the AuNP–PM capsules triggered by an increase in pH shows that 93% of Rh B is recovered (τ = 14 min) due to the capsules' unfolding. The hybrid AuNP–PM material highlights the utility of multicomponent ensembles (i.e., lipid bilayer, protein array, and NPs) by demonstrating that complex, multistimuli 3D responses can lead to multiplexed functions such as controlling energy transfer in the confined, encapsulated state and breaking the energy pair via molecular release in response to a change in pH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1904899
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number43
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • bacteriorhodopsin
  • controlled release system
  • energy transfer
  • gold nanoparticles
  • nano–bio hybrid assembly
  • purple membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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