What are bacterial nanowires made of?
Nanowires enable bacteria to transfer electrons over micrometer distances to extracellular electron acceptors such as insoluble metal oxides or electrodes. Nanowires are pilus based and in Geobacter sulfurreducens are composed of the type IV pilin subunit PilA.
What are nanowires in microbiology?
Microbial nanowires are electrically conductive filaments that facilitate long-range extracellular electron transfer. The model for electron transport along Shewanella oneidensis nanowires is electron hopping/tunneling between cytochromes adorning the filaments.
How could the bacteria nanowires and the electricity they produce be used?
Microbial nanowires possess electrically conductive filaments (pili) that are capable of extracellular transfer of electrons over long distances. The nanowire networks can convert organic compounds to methane in microbial fuel cells.
Are nanowires pili?
The most intensively studied Geobacter protein nanowires are electrically conductive pili (e-pili). As detailed in this review, a substantial number of studies have demonstrated that PilA, the type IV pilin of G. sulfurreducens (Reguera et al., 2005), assembles into e-pili (Table 1).
Where are nanowires found?
In microbial fuel cells (MFCs), bacterial nanowires generate electricity via extracellular electron transport to the MFC’s anode. Nanowire networks have been shown to enhance the electricity output of MFCs with efficient and long-range conductivity.
Who discovered microbial nanowires?
Geobacter’s conductive abilities were discovered by Derek Lovley, a microbiologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who wanted to know how these bacteria rid themselves of the electrons produced during their energy-generation process.
Can bacteria conducting electricity?
Bacteria in the genus Geobacter look like miniature kidney beans sprouting long, wirelike tails—and it turns out these “nanowires” really do conduct electricity.
What is the dimensionality of nanowires?
Typical nanowires exhibit aspect ratios (length-to-width ratio) of 1000 or more. As such they are often referred to as one-dimensional (1-D) materials. Nanowires have many interesting properties that are not seen in bulk or 3-D (three-dimensional) materials.
Where are nanowires used?
Nanowires can be used for MOSFETs (MOS field-effect transistors). MOS transistors are used widely as fundamental building elements in today’s electronic circuits.
Why do we need nanowires?
Some nanowires are very good conductors or semiconductors, and their miniscule size means that manufacturers could fit millions more transistors on a single microprocessor. As a result, computer speed would increase dramatically. Nanowires may play an important role in the field of quantum computers.