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Home > News > Protein pump provides proton power

July 10th, 2004

Protein pump provides proton power

The performance of fuel cells might be improved by a nano-engineered membrane containing light-activated protein pumps. Carlo Montemagno and co-workers at the University of California at Los Angeles have shown that these proteins can reduce leakage of ions across the two chambers of the cell. Montemagno's team has made polymer membranes studded with the proton-pumping bacterial protein bacteriorhodopsin (bR). They have laminated these films to the proton-exchange membranes of methanol fuel cells.

* Nature

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