Team:KU ISTANBUL/Contribution



1. We contributed to the iGEM part library by adding the information below to 4 different part pages.

Reflectin Proteins

Many cephalopods (octopuses, squids, cuttlefish, etc.) demonstrate camouflage capabilities by adaptive transparency. Some chalepods can even vanish from the environment by performing these capabilities. These animals can change the optical properties of their skin, how their skin transmits, absorbs, and reflects light [3]. Reflectivity in these animal tissues is achieved by stacking flat, insoluble, structural platelets by alternating layers of high and low refractive index in iridocytes [4]. This alternate arrangement, called a Bragg reflector, creates a thin-film interference pattern which is the reason for reflection of incident light from the tissue [3]. In aquatic animals, reflector platelets generally consist of purine crystals, particularly guanine and hypoxanthine. However, cephalopod reflector platelets contain reflectin proteins instead of these purine crystals. Reflectin proteins found in cephalopods are responsible for transparency abilities by employing structural coloration and iridescence [1, 2].

Optical characterization of these proteins is an important work for studies using reflectin proteins. However, it is hard to characterize the refractive index of these proteins since there are multiple Bragg stacks with unknown variation in spacings, refractive indices and orientations in a typical tissue of a chalepod. Ghoshal et al (2014) employed a microspectroscopy procedure to investigate these properties. They found a progressively higher refractive index from 1.33 to 1.43 from the same Bragg stack as they immersed these Bragg stacks in solutions of different reflectivities.


[1] Junko Ogawa et al. (2020) Genetic manipulation of the optical refractive index in living cells

[2] Atrouli Chatterjee et al. (2020) Cephalopod-inspired optical engineering of human cells

[3] Wendy J. Crookes et al. (2004) Reflectins: The Unusual Proteins of Squid Reflective Tissues

[4] Amitabh Ghoshal et al. (2014) Experimental determination of refractive index of condensed reflectin in squid iridocytes

2. We have contributed to the fluorescent proteins public database (community contributed),, which is the only database of fluorescent proteins one can find detailed information of each FPs. Researchers worldwide including future iGEM teams can easily find our materials on this webpage and use it without any permissions.

  • We added quantum efficiency data from the Andor Newton CCD camera which we plan to use in our experiments.

  • We created a collectionof fluorescent proteins which can help future researchers working on biological lasers to help easily pick the right proteins.

  • We created a virtual microscope setupon to check out efficiency of different fluorescent proteins. It can help to pick the right protein according to the optical components of the setup.