Biophysics and Molecular Materials

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Designer Cellulosomes

cellulosomesBiofuel from wood and waste will be a substantial share of our future energy mix. The hydrocarbons in these materials are tightly packed by lignin. The conversion of lignocellulose to fermentable polysaccharides is the current bottleneck. Up to now, only cellulosomes, the multi-enzyme organelles of bacteria, and certain fungi are capable of breaking down the lignocellulose complexes under ambient conditions; industrial conversion requires harsh and environmentally questionable steps. We propose the use of single molecule cut and paste technology to assemble an large library of different designer cellulosomes on a chip surface and cellulosomes2combine enzymes from different species with nanocatalysts. The ultimate goal of this project is to identify the most productive de nuovo arrangement of natural and man-made constituents, which then may be adapted for large-scale production.

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