20.109(F12):Module 3

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20.109(F12): Laboratory Fundamentals of Biological Engineering

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Module 3

Instructors: Angela Belcher, Shannon Hughes-Alford, Natalie Kuldell and Agi Stachowiak

TA: Jackie Ohmura

“Invention” is a wonderful word, derived from words meaning “scheme” and “a finding out.” Inventors draw on materials provided by the natural world, refining and combining them in insightful ways, to make something useful. In this experimental module we will invent materials by manipulating biological systems, namely the bacteriophage M13. We will use a very slightly modified phage to build Titanium dioxide nanowires and then we'll let the phage themselves do the building, assembling them into a solar cell. Drawing on the rich stockroom of biological elements and a good but incomplete understanding of their behavior, we’ll hope to invent some novel materials with real-world applications.

This module has been developed thanks to the generous time and thoughtful efforts of several Belcher lab members, in particular Xiangnan Dang
CNN videotape of Angie Belcher teaching President Obama about this work

Lab links: day by day

Day 1: Growth of phage materials
Day 2: Phage nanowires
Day 3: TEM
Day 4: Solar cell assembly
Day 5: Solar cell testing
Day 6: Research proposal presentations
Virus Templated self-assembled single-walled carbon nanotubes for highly efficient collection in photovoltaic devices link here doi:10.1038/nnano.2011.50


summary of Module 3 assignments
research pre-proposal description
pre-proposal template
oral presentation of research proposal
written presentation of research proposal

Notes for Teaching Faculty

TA notes, mod 3, solar cell (F12)