Designing a versatile electrochemical platform to probe membrane proteins from electroactive bacteria

This is the ambition of Doctor Estelle Lebègue and Senior Lecturer Frédéric Barrière of the Institute of Chemical Sciences in Rennes, through the European research project MELBA.
Projet MELBA

The project

The H2020 project MELBA aims to understand a fundamental scientific aspect of the activity of specific proteins extracted from bacteria in order, among other things, to improve applied research in the field of biotechnology.

More specifically, the idea is to design an electrochemical platform capable of detecting the properties of various membrane proteins extracted from electroactive bacteria.


The aim of the MELBA project is to provide essential knowledge on the simultaneous electron transfer and proton transport involved in electroactive bacteria. The results obtained will make it possible, on the one hand, to optimise bioelectrochemical technologies of the microbial battery type based on electroactive bacteria and, on the other hand, to characterise the properties of other proteins of interest.

Different stages will be carried out

  • First, carbon electrodes will be modified with probe molecules, using surface functionalization methods, which are well mastered in the Condensed Matter and Electroactive Systems (MaCSE) team at the Institute of Chemical Sciences in Rennes.
  • Then an artificial membrane ideal for integrating the extracted membrane proteins will be designed from lipids.

International dimension

To achieve these objectives, Dr. Estelle Lebègue will spend six months in the laboratory of the Nova University of Lisbon (partner in the MELBA project) to learn how to extract membrane proteins from electroactive bacteria. These proteins will then be incorporated into the artificial lipid membrane supported on the modified carbon electrode. The charge transfer properties of these proteins will then be probed.

Identity card

European project MELBA - HORIZON 2020 Programme - Marie S. Curie Action Curie Action

Institution: Université de Rennes 1

Beneficiary: Estelle LEBEGUE

Name of the Scientific Leader: Frédéric BARRIERE
Laboratory / UMR: Institute of Chemical Sciences of Rennes - UMR CNRS 6226
Project duration: From 01/04/17 to 31/03/19 (2 years)