Simulation Environment for Bacteriorhodopsin Sensors


Teemu Tukiainen1, Lasse Lensu1, Jussi Parkkinen2

1Department of Information Technology, Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O.Box 20, FIN-53850 Lappeenranta, Finland

2Department of Computer Science, University of Joensuu, P.O. Box 111, FIN-80101 Joensuu, Finland

e-mail: teemu.tukiainen@lut.fi

 

Bacteriorhodopsin (BR), the photo-sensitive protein found in the purple membrane of the archaean Halobacterium Salinarum, has been studied for decades. Different types of applications ranging from the desalination of seawater to color sensitive digital cameras have been suggested, but most of them have remained at the theoretical level due to technical obstacles, even though the characteristics of BR are relatively well known.

Producing solid applications based on BR is a long and challenging process. Development of high-quality BR-based devices requires time and expertise. To help this development, the state-of-the-art computers can be used for virtual simulations instead of physical prototyping. Such simulations are effective and a fast way to evaluate the characteristics of BR in specific applications.

Our work aims to produce a flexible simulation environment for BR and other photoactive biomolecules, utilising the current knowledge of their characteristics. The simulator is implemented using the Matlab Simulink platform. The current simulator includes models for the components of the photoelectric experiments of BR-based sensors. The models can be added to the simulator and modified with ease.