Team:BJU China/Human Practices


Overall Outline

The intention of our project is to achieve large-scale environmental-friendly production of tyrian purple and its directives to reduce the pollution caused by photosensitive semiconductors and dyes productions. To achieve this goal, we conducted human practices in the following aspects:

1. Clarify the importance of tyrian purple production through literature research, questionnaire research and expert interviews.
2. Solve the problems in our experiment process through communication and discussion with academic experts.
3. Conduct an expert return visit with experts after obtaining tyrian purple samples and improve our project according to their suggestions.
4. Interview industry companies to investigate the application value of tyrian purple


At the start of the project, we did many researches to promote our project. According to our literature research, mass-produced plastic electronic products have caused great pollution to the environment in the past ten years, and the production and application of dyes has also caused huge amounts of pollution. As a unique and malleable pigment with good charge transport mobility, tyrian purple is an important material to solve these two problems at the same time.

Therefore, we carried out public questionnaire surveys and expert interviews with our own project reports. In the results of the questionnaire, most of the 205 people who filled out the questionnaire said that semiconductor pollution does exist around them, and nearly half of them said they would consider buying low-polluting semiconductor products. In an interview with semiconductor expert Professor Li, he confirmed the feasibility of our project and gave us a lot of follow-up advice, and we also learned that semiconductor pollution is indeed very serious at present and our project is of great social value. All these results have given us great confidence to continue our project.


(Left: first time presenting our project to professor Li. Right: survey result)

Then, we began our experiments. However, we encountered several corresponding problems in the process, such as the TnaA knock-out gene part and tyrian purple application part. To solve these problems, we communicated and discussed with other teams and got a lot of help (see details on our collabration page and partnership page). We also held a talk with Dr. Zhang Haoqian, the CEO of Bluepha, and listened to his suggestions for our project. He recommended us to focus on the importance of current photosensitive materials and some related applications, and explained the many advantages of tyrian purple, and also affirmed our project. After gaining a more comprehensive knowledge of the related fields such as photosensitive cells, we carried out further experiments and eventually produced the tyrian purple.

Dr. Zhang Haoqian present his thoughts on this project to us

After the production of Tyrian purple was completed, we carried out the overall packaging and measurement of the project, and after getting the corresponding parameters, we made a return visit to Professor Li of the Minzu University of China. After seeing the data and having a more comprehensive understanding of our production process, Professor Li was very positive about our project and thought that we had done a good job, and that the biological production method had really reduced pollution and had an environmental effect. He also took us through a detailed analysis of the relevant data measured. According to Professor Li's explanation, we learned that the best absorption peak of our tyrian purple is 530nm, which is in the visible light region. Professor Li thinks that, in response to this result, our tyrian purple can be used as a photosensitive material, which will be relatively better.

At the same time, during the analysis with Professor Li, our results also had the drawback that there was no data in the infrared region, which means that there are limitations in the application to some areas that require infrared light detection, such as military and radar detection. However, the application in the visible region is not a problem. So back in the lab, we used our tyrian purple to make a photosensitive cell. After testing, we found that there are still some areas where we should optimise its performance, and this is something we plan to improve in the future.

According to the suggestions of experts, the better application of tyrian purple lies in the photosensitive material of visible light. For this reason, we chose solar cells as the hardware, and conducted interviews and investigations with related companies to explore the application prospects of tyrian purple in this respect.

Through the interview with Opv Tech, we got a lot of information from it, which is very useful for our project. In combination with the preliminary understanding of the nature of semiconductors in the previous communication with the teachers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, we have a deeper understanding of the dye-sensitized cell. At the beginning, it was not clear how to measure the performance of dye-sensitized cells and what parameters could be measured, but after the interviews, we have a clearer direction for the project regarding the measurement parameters of semiconductors and dye-sensitized cells. Furthermore, after the interview, the company also guided us on the process of making the sensitized cell, and we made adjustments based on the scheme given by the company, and finally got the final protocol.

Below is the interview content:



In addition to the above human practices activities, we also carried out other activities to publicize our project and synthetic biology, you can see details on our education communication, and art page. The following are the platforms we used and the related feedback.


We uploaded two videos onto our BiliBili account, a Chinese a video sharing and social media platform to inform the general public about our project. These videos include our project introduction, which takes the form of our offical promotional video, and another informing the audience of the traditional ways of tyrian purple production. The videos we uploaded were viewed around 200 times, while 61 people subscribed for the content.


In addition to uploading videos on Bilibili , we also wrote articles about our project. The promotion of our team and the education on Tyrian Purple's history are done through "Zhi Hu". “Zhi Hu" is an educational website, that is similar to a browser, where people can search answers to all aspects of questions. We wrote three articles on our project, the history of Tyrian Purple and religon's impact on Tyrian Purple. Our articles are written in an entertaining way, so our target audience –people of all ages and all specialties– will all be able to understand and stay interested.

Furthermore, we shared our promotion video through "Zhi Hu", which gained 605 watches. Our articles had a total of 2365 reads. The highest number of reads was the introduction to our project, with 2031 reads. 12 people followed us. The above statistics gave data that we had successfully conducted education activity about Tyrian Purple to the public.