Proteovesicle Filtration

Wendell Group, U. of Cincinnati

In this schematic, two protein complexes normally found in bacteria are embedded in a proteovesicle bilayer to form a solar powered filter.

In nature, the protein pump AcrB (blue) has evolved to pump waste out of bacteria. Environmental engineers Vikram Kapoor and David Wendell harness the pump in reverse. In their filter, the light-driven bacterial protein Delta-rhodopsin (red) provides power to AcrB to pump antibiotics and carcinogens across the bilayer and into the proteovesicle. 

I provided 3d modeling. Art direction/2d rendering for press images was done by Diana Saville. 

The paper:
Kapoor V, Wendell D. Engineering Bacterial Efflux Pumps for Solar-Powered Bioremediation of Surface Waters. Nano Letters 2013 13 (5), 2189-2193.