Affiliation: Institute of Medical Physics and Informatics, University of Szeged, Rerrich B. ter 1, 6720 Szeged, Hungary.
Photosynthetic reaction centres are membrane-spanning proteins, found in several classes of autotroph organisms, where a photoinduced charge separation and stabilization takes place with a quantum efficiency close to unity. The protein remains stable and fully functional also when extracted and purified in detergents thereby biotechnological applications are possible, for example, assembling it in nano-structures or in optoelectronic systems. Several types of bionanocomposite materials have been assembled by using reaction centres and different carrier matrices for different purposes in the field of light energy conversion (e.g., photovoltaics) or biosensing (e.g., for specific detection of pesticides). In this review we will summarize the current status of knowledge, the kinds of applications available and the difficulties to be overcome in the different applications. We will also show possible research directions for the close future in this specific field.