Physical constraints on charge transport through bacterial nanowires.


Journal Article

Extracellular appendages of the dissimilatory metal-reducing bacterium Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 were recently shown to sustain currents of 10(10) electrons per second over distances of 0.5 microns [El-Naggar et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 2010, 107, 18127]. However, the identity of the charge localizing sites and their organization along the "nanowire" remain unknown. We use theory to predict redox cofactor separation distances that would permit charge flow at rates of 10(10) electrons per second over 0.5 microns for voltage biases of < or = IV, using a steady-state analysis governed by a non-adiabatic electron transport mechanism. We find the observed currents necessitate a multi-step hopping transport mechanism, with charge localizing sites separated by less than 1 nm and reorganization energies that rival the lowest known in biology.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Polizzi, NF; Skourtis, SS; Beratan, DN

Published Date

  • January 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 155 /

Start / End Page

  • 43 - 62

PubMed ID

  • 22470966

Pubmed Central ID

  • 22470966

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1364-5498

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1359-6640

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1039/c1fd00098e


  • eng