Naturally occurring photosynthetic systems in plants are supported by elaborate pathways of self-repair that limit the impact of photo-damage. Herein, we demonstrate a complex consisting of two recombinant proteins, phospholipids and a carbon nanotube that reversibly assembles into a particular configuration, forming an array of 4 nm lipid bilayers housing light-converting proteins. The system can reversibly self-assemble into this configuration, and disassemble upon the addn. of sodium cholate, over an indefinite no. of cycles. The assembly is thermodynamically meta-stable and can only transition reversibly between free components and assembled state if the rate of surfactant removal exceeds about 10-5 sec-1. Only in the assembled state, do the complexes exhibit photoelectrochem. activity. We demonstrate a regeneration cycle that utilizes only surfactant to signal between assembly and disassembly with the result that photo-conversion efficiency is increased more than 300% over 168 h, and the useable lifetime extended indefinitely. [on SciFinder(R)]