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Shelley Minteer

Professor of Chemistry

Shelley Minteer

B.S. Western Illinois University

Ph.D. University of Iowa



Shelley Minteer's Lab Page

Shelley Minteer's PubMed Literature Search

Biological Chemistry Program

Bioelectrocatalysis, metabolic pathways


The Minteer Research Group is currently focused on studying bioelectrocatalysis. We have two main projects: enzyme cascades for bioelectrocatalysis and organelle bioelectrocatalysis for sensing and energy conversion applications. Our research in enzymatic bioelectrocatalysis is focused on both the bioengineering of natural enzymatic metabolic pathways for bioanodes for biofuel cells as well as enzyme discovery and enzyme engineering for non-natural complete oxidation pathways for biofuels. Our research in organelle-based bioelectrocatalysis is focused on the use of mitochondria to catalyze the complete oxidation of pyruvate and fatty acids at the anode of fuel cells as well as the unique biochemical actuation properties of mitochondria that allow for the use of mitochondria for self-powered explosive sensing.

Biofuel cells are a type of fuel cell where a biocatalyst is used as the catalyst for converting the chemical energy of a fuel into electrical energy, instead of a traditional metallic catalyst. Our research group has made advances in enzymatic fuel cell lifetimes over the last decade due to the development of a novel enzyme immobilization membrane that three-dimensionally constrains the enzyme while providing a buffered pH and a hydrophobic environment that mimics the cellular environment. However, in order to effectively utilize biofuel cells as energy conversion devices, it is essential to be able to use enzyme cascades to allow for complete oxidation of complex biofuels and, thereby, high energy densities, as well as coupling to an air breathing biocathode to ensure high current densities. In a living cell, complex fuels/substrates are completely oxidized to carbon dioxide utilizing the enzymatic cascades of metabolic pathways, such as: the Kreb's cycle, glycolysis, etc. These metabolic pathways can be used to oxidize fuels in a biofuel cell, but require the immobilization of over 20 enzymes at a bioanode, whereas only 6 of these enzymes are dehydrogenase (i.e. electron producing enzymes). We have employed metabolic engineering to design and study these systems. However, we are also developing enzymatic cascades for complete oxidation of a variety of biofuels by employing non-specific PQQ-dependent dehydrogenases. We have previously shown the ability to do this for the complex alcoholic fuels: ethylene glycol and glycerol.

Mitochondria are considered the "powerhouse" of the cell and contain enzymes and enzymatic pathways that can completely oxidize biofuel sources, such as: pyruvate. Recently, our research group has developed a biofuel cell that employs mitochondria as the anode catalyst which is responsible for oxidizing fuel. As with any fuel cell, this fuel cell will only produce electrical energy in the presence of fuel, but mitochondria are different than most traditional catalyst in that there are a number of inhibitors (e.g. the antibiotic oligomycin) that can stop mitochondria functioning, which in turn will stop the electrical power generation. However, this mitochondrial function (metabolism of fuel) can be returned by the addition of an uncoupler or uncoupler. It is important to note that nitroaromatic compounds are common explosive materials, but are also selective uncouplers for mitochondrial inhibition. Therefore, we have been studying the use of inhibited mitochondria as sensors for nitroaromatic explosives. This is a self-powered sensor, because there will be no power produced in the absence of the explosive material, but after the nitroaromatic explosive is present, it will decouple the inhibited mitochondria and allow for the mitochondria to catalyze the oxidation of pyruvate fuel to carbon dioxide. This oxidation at the anode of a biofuel cell in combination with the reduction of oxygen to water at the cathode produces power that can then be used for signaling the presence of the explosive.


Selected Publications

  1. R.D. Milton, R. Cai, S. Sahin, S. Abdellaoui, B. Alkotaini, D. Leech, and S.D. Minteer, “The In Vivo Potential-Regulated Protective Protein of Nitrogenase in Azotobacter vinelandii Supports Aerobic Bioelectrochemical Dinitro-gen Reduction In Vitro,” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2017, 139, 9044-9052.
  2. Y. Liu, D.P. Hickey, J.Y. Guo, E. Earl, S. Abdellaoui, R. Milton, M.S. Sigman, S.D. Minteer, and S. Calabrese Barton, “Substrate Channeling in an Artificial Metabolon: A Molecular Dynamics Blueprint for an Experimental Peptide Bridge,” ACS Catalysis, 2017, 7, 2486-93.
  3. J. Kitt, D. Bryce, S.D. Minteer, and J.M. Harris, “Raman Spectroscopy Reveals Selective Interactions of Cytochrome c with Cardiolipin that Correlate with Membrane Permeability,” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 139(10), 3851-3860.
  4. K. Van Nguyen and S.D. Minteer. “Investigating DNA hydrogels as a new biomaterial for enzyme immobilization in biobatteries,” Chem Commun (Camb), 2015, 51, 13071-3. 
  5. M. Rasmussen, S. Abdellaoui, and S.D. Minteer. “Enzymatic biofuel cells: 30 years of critical advancements,” Biosens Bioelectron, 2015, 76, 91-102.
  6. S. Aquino Neto, D.P. Hickey, R.D. Milton, A.R. De Andrade, and S.D. Minteer. “High current density PQQ-dependent alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase bioanodes,” Biosens Bioelectron, 2015, 72, 247-54.
  7. R.D. Milton, K. Lim, D.P. Hickey, and S.D. Minteer. “Employing FAD-dependent glucose dehydrogenase within a glucose/oxygen enzymatic fuel cell operating in human serum,” Bioelectrochemistry, 2015, 106, 56-63.
  8. M. Rasmussen and S.D. Minteer. “Long-term arsenic monitoring with an Enterobacter cloacae microbial fuel cell,” Bioelectrochemistry, 2015, 106, 207-12.
  9. K. Van Nguyen and S.D. Minteer. “DNA-functionalized Pt nanoparticles as catalysts for chemically powered micromotors: toward signal-on motion-based DNA biosensor,” Chem Commun (Camb), 2015, 51, 4782-4.
  10. R.C. Reid, S.D. Minteer, and B.K. Gale. “Contact lens biofuel cell tested in a synthetic tear solution,” Biosens Bioelectron, 2015, 68, 142-8.
  11. F. Wu and S. Minteer S. “Krebs cycle metabolon: structural evidence of substrate channeling revealed by cross-linking and mass spectrometry,” Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, 2015, 54, 1851-4.
  12. F. Wu, L.N. Pelster, and S.D. Minteer. “Krebs cycle metabolon formation: metabolite concentration gradient enhanced compartmentation of sequential enzymes,” Chem Commun (Camb), 2015, 51, 1244-7.
  13. D. Hickey, F. Giroud, D. Schmidke, D. Glatzhofer, and S.D. Minteer, “Enzyme Cascade for Catalyzing Sucrose Oxidation,” ACS Catalysis, 2013, 3, 2729-2737.
  14. R. Milton, F. Giroud, A. Thumser, S.D. Minteer, and R. Slade, “Bilirubin oxidase bioelectrocatalytic cathodes: the impact of hydrogen peroxide,” ChemComm, 2014, 50, 94-96.
  15. S. Xu and S.D. Minteer, “Investigating the Impact of Multi-Heme Pyrroloquinoline Quinone-Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Orientation on Direct Bioelectrocatalysis via Site Specific Enzyme Immobilization,” ACS Catalysis, 2013, 3, 1756-1763.
  16. M. Rasmussen, A. Wingersky, and S.D. Minteer, “Improved Performance of a Thylakoid Bio-Solar Cell by Incorporation of Carbon Quantum Dots,” ECS Electrochemistry Letters, 2014, 3, H1-H3.
  17. Shrier, F. Giroud, M. Rasmussen, and S.D. Minteer, “Operational Stability Assays for Bioelectrodes for Biofuel Cells: Effect of Immobilization Matrix on Laccase Biocathode Stability,” Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 2014, 161, H244-H24.
  18. D. Chen, F. Giroud, and S.D. Minteer, “Nickel Cysteine Complexes as Anodic Electrocatalysts for Fuel Cells,” Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 2014, 161, F933-F939.
  19. S. Xu and S.D. Minteer, “Characterizing Efficiency of Multi-Enzyme Cascade-based Biofuel Cells by Product Analysis,” ECS Electrochemistry Letters, 2014, 3, H24-H27.
  20. D. Hickey, F. Giroud, D. Schmidke, D. Glatzhofer, and S.D. Minteer, “Enzyme Cascade for Catalyzing Sucrose Oxidation,” ACS Catalysis, 2013, 3, 2729-2737.
  21. R. Arechederra, A. Waheed, W. Sly, C. Supuran, and S.D. Minteer, “Effect of Sulfonamides as Carbonic Anhydrase VA and VB Inhibitors on Mitochondrial Metabolic Energy Conversion,” Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, 2013, 21, 1544-1548.
  22. M. Rasmussen, K. Sjoholm, and S.D. Minteer, “Bio-solar Cells Incorporating Catalase for Stabilization of Thylakoid Bioelectrodes During Direct Photoelectrocatalysis,” ECS Electrochemistry Letters, 2012, 1, G7-G9.
  23. M. A. Arugula, K.S. Brastad, S.D. Minteer, and Z. He, “Enzyme Catalyzed Electricity-Driver Water Softening System,” Enzyme and Microbial Technology, 2012, 51, 396-401.
  24. S. Aquino Neto, E. Suda, S. Xu, M. Meredith, A. de Andrade, and S.D. Minteer, “Direct electron transfer-based bioanodes for ethanol biofuel cells using PQQ-dependent alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase,” Electrochimica Acta, 2013, 87, 323-329.
  25. G.G.W. Lee, J. Leddy, and S.D. Minteer, “Enhancing Alcohol Electrocatalysis with the Introduction of Magnetic Composites to Nickel Electrocatalysts, Chemical Communications, 2012, 48, 11972-11974.
  26. D. Chen, G.G.W. Lee, and S.D. Minteer, “Utilizing DNA for Electrocatalysis: DNA-Nickel Aggregates as Anodic Electrocatalysts for Methanol, Ethanol, Glycerol, and Glucose,” ECS Electrochemistry Letters, 2013, 2, F9-F13.
  27. S. Sattayasamitsathit, Y. Gu, K. Kaufmann, W. Jia, X. Xiao, S. Minteer, J. Cha, D. B. Burckel, C. Wang, R. Polsky, J. Wang, “Highly-Ordered Multilayered 3D Graphene Decorated with Metal Nanoparticles,” Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2013, 1, 1639-1645.
  28. Y.H. Kim, E. Campbell, J. Yu, S.D. Minteer, and S. Banta, “Complete Oxidation of Methanol in Biobattery Devices Using a Hydrogel Created from Three Modified Dehydrogenases,” Angewandte Chemie, 2013, 52, 1437-1440.
  29. G. Martin, S.D. Minteer, and M. Cooney, "Fluorescence characterization of immobilization induced enzyme aggregation," Chemical Communications, 2011, 47, 2083-5.
  30. M. Moehlenbrock, T. Toby, L. Pelster, and S.D. Minteer, "Metabolon catalysts: an efficient model for multi-enzyme cascades at electrode surfaces," ChemCatChem, 2011, 3, 561–570.
  31. C. Fischer, S. Xu, R. Arechederra, and S.D. Minteer, "Mitochondrial Biofuel Cells: Expanding Fuel Diversity to Amino Acids," Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2011, 13, 86-92.

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Last Updated: 8/3/17