Quantum biological electron transfer (ET) essentially involves in virtually all important biological processes such as photosynthesis, cellular respiration, DNA repair, cellular homeostasis, and cell death. However, there is no real-time imaging method to capture biological electron tunnelling in live cells to date. Here, we report a quantum biological electron tunnelling (QBET) junction and its application in real-time optical detection of QBET and the dynamics of ET in mitochondrial cytochrome c during cell life and death process. QBET junctions permit to see the behaviours of electron tunnelling through barrier molecules with different barrier widths. Using QBET spectroscopy, we optically capture real-time ET in cytochrome c redox dynamics during cellular apoptosis and necrosis in living cells. The non-invasive real-time QBET spectroscopic imaging of ET in live cell open a new era in life sciences and medicine by providing a way to capture spatiotemporal ET dynamics and to reveal the quantum biological mechanisms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)