Protein Cohabitation: Improving the Photochemical Stability of R-Phycoerythrin in the Solid State


The poor photochemical stability of R-phycoerythrin (R-PE) has been a bottleneck for its broad-spectrum applications. Inspired by nature, we studied a sustainable strategy of protein cohabitation to enhance R-PE stability by embedding it in a solid matrix of gelatin. Both pure R-PE and fresh phycobiliprotein (PBP) extracts recovered from Gracilaria gracilis were studied. The incorporation of R-PE in the gelatin-based films (gelatin-RPE and gelatin-PBPs) has improved its photochemical stability for at least 8 months, the longest time period reported so far. These results were evidenced by not only absorption but also emission quantum yield measurements (Phi). Moreover, the photostability of gelatin-RPE films upon continuous excitation with an AM1.5G solar simulator was tested and found to remain stable for 23 h after initial decreasing up to 250 min. In the end, another approach was established to allow 100% photostability for a 3 h exposure to an AM1.5G solar simulator by doping the gelatin-based film including R-Phycoerythrin with n-propyl gallate stabilized with Tween 80, allowing their use as naturally based optically active centers in photovoltaic applications.



subject category

Chemistry; Science & Technology - Other Topics; Materials Science; Physics


Bharmoria, P; Correia, SFH; Martins, M; Hernandez-Rodriguez, MA; Ventura, SPM; Ferreira, RAS; Carlos, LD; Coutinho, JAP

our authors


This work was developed within the scope of Project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, UIDB/50011/2020 and UIDP/50011/2020, and Projects Solar-Flex (CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-030186) and SusPhotoSolutions (CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-000005) financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC and when appropriate co-financed by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in the frame of Operational Competitiveness and Internationalization Programme (POCI). The authors thank FCT for Doctoral Grant SFRH/BD/122220/2016 to M.M. and IF Contract IF/00402/2015 for S.P.M.V. The authors acknowledge ALGAplus Co. for the samples of G. gracilis.

Share this project:

Related Publications

We use cookies for marketing activities and to offer you a better experience. By clicking “Accept Cookies” you agree with our cookie policy. Read about how we use cookies by clicking "Privacy and Cookie Policy".