Mitochondria and the Electron Transport Chain

Fall 2007

This multimedia project shows how energy is generated via the electron transport chain inside mitochondria. This was the term-long project for CSE334, Introduction to Multimedia, under Professor Tony Scarlatos of Stony Brook University. This project is also showcased on the course website.

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Project Proposal
Voiceover Script
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Project Documentation

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Project Proposal

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CSE334 Term Project Proposal

Fall 2007


Arnav Shah




"Mitochondria and the Electron Transport Chain"



A mitochondrion is an organelle located inside most of the cells of all eukaryotic organisms, which includes plants, animals, and fungi.In these organisms, mitochondria primarily serve as "energy factories" as they are very involved in the most of the steps of converting nutrients into energy.

A process called the Electron Transport Chain contains the last steps of energy formation. This final process works by creating a concentration gradient of hydrogen ions utilizing the dual membrane structure of a mitochondrion. Basically, the Krebs cycle (an earlier step in energy conversion) generates electrons and these electrons go through the Electron Transport Chain, where hydrogen ions are pumped outside the inner membrane, thus creating a concentration gradient. This high concentration of hydrogen ions is used to drive the formation of high energy bonds called ATP, the primary energy store of many organisms.



The objective is use graphics, video, and animation to show the physical structure of a mitochondrion, and to show the process of the Electron Transport Chain within this organelle. Since mitochondria and the other components involved are microscopic, I cannot simply use them in this project. Therefore, I will use more tangible physical objects that are similar in shape to mitochondria and other components to represent the cellular structures. For example, a large capsule will work for the outer structure of the mitochondrion and smaller spheres will work for electrons and hydrogen ions. As for the inner membrane, I may have to build that component myself.




Mitochondrial Basic Structure and Function:


Electron Transport Chain

Voiceover Script

1 - Mitochondria are organelles located inside the cells of most living things, including humans.

2 - They serve mainly as energy factories, as they are very involved in converting nutrients to energy.

3 - The structure of a mitochondrion is unique: it contains an outer membrane and an inner membrane. The latter is where all the action occurs.

4 - This is the last part of energy generation, the electron transport chain.

5 - The major components here are the inner membrane, different enzymes, protons, electrons, and oxygen. The latter three come from nutrients and from breathing.

6 - Electrons get passed from one enzyme to another. This causes protons to get pumped outside the membrane

6.5 - This creates a high concentration.

7 - Oxygen is the final acceptor for electrons.

8 - The high concentration outside the membrane forces protons to pass through the ATP Synthase enzyme.

9 - This in turn drives the formation of energy.

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