The NanoBio Lab focuses on the fundamentals, implications, and technological applications of biological electron transport, using environmental microbes as model systems. This is a highly interdisciplinary area, drawing from the toolboxes of nanoscience, condensed matter physics, electrochemistry, and environmental microbiology. In contrast to solid state systems (e.g. metals and semiconductors), where the mechanisms of charge transfer are well understood, with immense technological consequences ranging from computers to solar cells, comparatively little is known about the physics of biological charge transfer, especially over long distances.
The research in this group examines the physics of the problem over large length scales and in the full biological context of microbial respiration and biotic-abiotic interactions. In addition to the basic science, we research renewable energy recovery in biological fuel cells, and develop new nanomaterials for energy conversion. Visit our research and publications pages for more information!
With generous support from:
- September 2015: New paper reports thermally activated long-range electron transport in Geobacter biofilms. Collaboration with Tender group at Naval Research Lab!
- June 2015: New paper on the single cell respiration rates of microbes at electrode interfaces!
- January 2015: New paper on biogenic field effect transistors. Materials Today - Bacteria turn nano fiber synthesis green
- August 2014: New paper on bacterial nanowires in PNAS! USC Press release. Discussion on Public Radio's Science Friday, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Chemical Biology, Phys.Org, Popular Science
- July 2014: Joint work with Urbashi Mitra's group (A Stochastic Model for Electron Transfer in Bacterial Cables) accepted for publication in IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communication.
- June 2014: A special feature about our work by PBS NewHour!
- January 2014: Moh El-Naggar receives the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). White House Release. USC News.
- New: Feature article "Live Wires: Electrical Signaling Between Bacteria" in The Scientist Magazine.
- January 2013: Collaborative work with Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC now published in Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology.
- October 2012: Nature Paper - Filamentous bacteria transport electrons over centimetre distances. USC News. Discovery News. Physics World.
- September 2012: We are part of the new NASA Astrobiology Institute "Life Underground" team at USC! NASA Press Release, USC Article
- September 2012: Popular Science names El-Naggar among this year's "Brilliant 10"
- May 2012: Keynote talk by Moh at the Biological Fuel Cells Session of the Electrochemical Society (Seattle)
- May 2012: Ian and Julia's work covered in Dornsife magazine
- Julia Lazzari-Dean wins a Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) undergraduate research grant
- March 2012: Call for papers for the American Chemical Society session on bioelectrochemical systems (Co-organized by Dr. El-Naggar. Location: San Diego, March 25-29, 2012)
- Our work was covered in the December 2010 issue of Physics Today
- News coverage of our 2010 paper on bacterial nanowires: USC News, The Scientist, MSNBC, This Week in PNAS
- Tom Yuzvinsky wins a travel grant from the Provost’s Biomedical Nanoscience Initiative
- Moh El-Naggar receives YIP award from Air Force Office of Scientific Research
- PNAS paper on Electrokinesis covered in Science News