20.109(S17):Module 3

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20.109(S17): Laboratory Fundamentals of Biological Engineering


Schedule Spring 2017        Announcements        Assignments        Homework        Communication
       1. High-throughput ligand screening        2. Gene expression engineering        3. Biomaterials engineering              

Module 3

Lecturer: Angela Belcher
Instructors: Noreen Lyell, Leslie McClain and Maxine Jonas

TA: Rob Wilson
Research assistant: Jifa Qi
Lab manager: Hsinhwa Lee


'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 slightly modified phage to build a battery cathode. The phage themselves do the building by acting as a template for biomineralization and the resulting material will be used as the cathodes in a coin-style lithium-ion battery. In a previous semester, the 20.109 team assessed how the amount of phage impacts the performance of a battery. Using the knowledge gathered by your former classmates, you will now add an additional variable in an attempt to further improve battery capacity. Specifically, you will add gold nanoparticles (AuNP) and asses the effect of this on enhancing the electronic conductivity of your battery.

This module has been developed thanks to the generous time and thoughtful efforts of several Belcher Laboratory members, in particular Dr. Maryam Moradi, Dr. Jifa Qi, and George Sun.

Schematic diagram of lithium-ion battery constructed with phage mineralized cathode

Lab links: day by day

M3D1: Grow phage active material
M3D2: Purify phage active material
M3D3: Construct cathode with phage active material
M3D4: Visualize phage nanowires using TEM
M3D5: Assemble and test battery


Research proposal presentation
Mini report


See all M3 student data on the Discussion page.


Notes for teaching faculty

S17 notes for M3