Protein Electrochemistry: Questions and Answers

  • V. Fourmond
  • C. Léger
Part of the Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology book series (ABE, volume 158)


This chapter presents the fundamentals of electrochemistry in the context of protein electrochemistry. We discuss redox proteins and enzymes that are not photoactive. Of course, the principles described herein also apply to photobioelectrochemistry, as discussed in later chapters of this book. Depending on which experiment is considered, electron transfer between proteins and electrodes can be either direct or mediated, and achieved in a variety of configurations: with the protein and/or the mediator free to diffuse in solution, immobilized in a thick, hydrated film, or adsorbed as a sub-monolayer on the electrode. The experiments can be performed with the goal to study the protein or to use it. Here emphasis is on mechanistic studies, which are easier in the configuration where the protein is adsorbed and electron transfer is direct, but we also explain the interpretation of signals obtained when diffusion processes affect the response.

This chapter is organized as a series of responses to questions. Questions 1–5 are related to the basics of electrochemistry: what does “potential” or “current” mean, what does an electrochemical set-up look like? Questions 6–9 are related to the distinction between adsorbed and diffusive redox species. The answers to questions 10–13 explain the interpretation of slow and fast scan voltammetry with redox proteins. Questions 14–19 deal with catalytic electrochemistry, when the protein studied is actually an enzyme. Questions 20, 21 and 22 are general.


Catalysis Electron transfer Protein electrochemistry Protein film voltammetry Voltammetry 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Bioénergétique et Ingénierie des ProtéinesCNRS/Aix-Marseille UniversitéMarseilleFrance

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