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Physics and Chemistry of Multifunctional Materials
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Physics and Chemistry of Multifunctional Materials June 25th to July 9th 2006 Genova - Italy Biomaterials - Biopolymers. Kim Kusk Mortensen Dept. of Molecular Biology Aarhus University Aarhus - Denmark. Biopolymers Lecture disposition. Fibers, hair, horn, skin and storage Examples and uses

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Kim Kusk Mortensen Dept. of Molecular Biology Aarhus University Aarhus - Denmark

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Kim kusk mortensen dept of molecular biology aarhus university aarhus denmark

Physics and Chemistry of Multifunctional MaterialsJune 25th to July 9th 2006Genova - ItalyBiomaterials - Biopolymers

Kim Kusk Mortensen

Dept. of Molecular Biology

Aarhus University

Aarhus - Denmark

Biopolymers lecture disposition

BiopolymersLecture disposition

  • Fibers, hair, horn, skin and storage

    • Examples and uses

  • DNA, Protein and Carbohydrates

    • Chemistry, structure and functions

  • Design of novel functions

Examples and uses

Examples and uses

  • Fibers

    • Vegetable fibers

      • Cellulose

    • Animal fibers

      • Keratin

      • Collagen

      • Fibroin

  • Storage

    • Starch

    • Glycogen

Vegetable fibers seed fibers cellulose

Vegetable fibersSeed fibers (cellulose)



Vegetable fibers fruit fiber cellulose

Vegetable fibersFruit fiber (cellulose)

Used for the manufacture of dormats, brushes and insulation



Vegetable fibers leaf fiber cellulose

Vegetable fibersLeaf fiber (cellulose)

Sisal (agave)

Vegetable fibers bast fiber cellulose

Vegetable fibersBast fiber (cellulose)


Fibers for rope manufacturing


Vegetable fibers bast fiber cellulose1

Vegetable fibersBast fiber (cellulose)


Flax (linen)



… also trees, papyrus, soybean, ocra, banana… and many other plants

Used for manufacturing of ropes, yarn, paper, burlap (hessian)

Vegetable fibers stalk fiber cellulose

Vegetable fibersStalk fiber (cellulose)

Straws of wheat, rice, barley, and other crops including bamboo, rattan and grass

Used for numerous purposes, eg building materials

Rattan chair

Vegetable carbohydrates storage starch glycogen

Vegetable carbohydratesStorage (starch, glycogen)

Electron micrograph of liver tissue

Animal fibers hair protein keratin

Animal fibersHair (protein – keratin)

Wool from sheep, goats, rabbits and llamas is used for the manufacturing of yarn, textiles and felt.

Animal fibers sinews skin cartilage and bones protein collagen

Animal fibersSinews, skin, cartilage, and bones (protein – collagen)

Production of glue, gelatin and collagen

Animal fibers silk protein fibroin

Animal fibersSilk (protein – fibroin)

Chemistry structure and functions

Chemistry, structure and functions

  • DNA

    • Building blocks

    • Structure

    • Function

  • Protein

    • Building blocks

    • Structures

    • Self assembly

    • Examples

  • Carbohydrates

    • Building blocks

    • Structures

    • Examples

Dna rna carrier of information building blocks

DNA (RNA) - carrier of informationBuilding blocks

  • Deoxyribonucleic acid

    • Four building blocks – A, T, C, G (bases)

    • Two base pairs – A:T and G:C

  • Ribonucleic acid

    • Four building blocks – A, U, C, G (bases)

    • Two base pairs – A:U and G:C

    • Both 2’ and 3’ hydroxyls on ribose



Dna rna replication

DNA (RNA) replication

Dna rna structure

DNA (RNA) structure

Dna bacterial kromosome

DNA – bacterial kromosome

Dna and rna function

DNA and RNA function

  • Keeper of information (DNA)

  • Carrier of information (DNA and mRNA)

  • Transport and fidelity (tRNA)

  • Control of transcription (siRNA)

  • Control of translation (tmRNA, mRNA)

  • Ribozymes (RNA-enzymes, Ribosome)

Protein carrier of function

Protein - carrier of function

  • Polymer of amino acids

  • Only L-amino acidsin natural proteins

Polypeptide synthesis

Polypeptide synthesis

  • Peptide bond formation

20 different natural amino acids

20 different natural amino acids

Polypeptide sequence of amino acids coded by the dna sequence

Polypeptide sequence of amino acids - coded by the DNA sequence

Protein structure self assembly

Protein structureSelf assembly

Protein function

Protein function

  • Enzyme

  • Transport

  • Timers

  • Fidelity

  • Controle

  • Structural proteins



Hair, horns, skin, nails, hoofs and tortoise shells are made of keratin



Sinews, skin, cartilage, and bones

Silk fibroin

Silk (fibroin)

Carbohydrates mono and disaccharides

CarbohydratesMono- and disaccharides

  • Polymers of sugar-monomers








Carbohydrates polysaccharides


Carbohydrates synthesis and degradation

CarbohydratesSynthesis and degradation

  • Enzymatic catalysed synthesis

  • Structure and sequence is enzyme coded

  • Enzymatic catalysed degradation

Polysaccharides structure cellulose

Polysaccharides structureCellulose

Polysaccharide structure xylans

Polysaccharide structureXylans

Polysaccharide structure chitin polyglucosamin

Polysaccharide structureChitin: polyglucosamin

Polysaccharide structure starch amylose and amylopectin

Polysaccharide structureStarch: Amylose and amylopectin

Polysaccharide structure glycogen

Polysaccharide structureGlycogen

Polysaccharide structure dextran

Polysaccharide structureDextran

Leuconostoc mesenteroides


n Sucrose (glucose)n + n fructose


Polysaccharide structure agar agarose

Polysaccharide structureAgar - agarose


Design of novel functions

Design of novel functions

  • Nano-materials

    • Defined layers

    • Surfaces

    • Tubes - conductors

  • Multi-diciplinary development

    • DNA and Protein

    • Carbohydrates

    • Organic chemistry

    • Inorganic chemistry

    • Electrochemistry

Self assembly

Self assembly

  • Exploite biopolymer association

    • Selectivity

    • Specificity

    • Affinity

  • Develop binding koordination

    • Surface grafting

    • Sequential binding

    • Enzymatic activation

    • Bloking and deblocking

Self assembling structures example virus coat cowpea chlorotic mottle virus ccmv

Self-assembling structuresExample: Virus coat Cowpea Chlorotic Mottle Virus (CCMV)

Selectivity and affinity avidin streptavidin biotin

Selectivity and affinityAvidin (streptavidin) - Biotin


Kd ≈ 10-14 - 10-15


Surface design

Surface design

Surface design1

Surface design


Peptide Nucleic Acid

Linking dna sequence to protein function phage display

Linking DNA sequence to protein functionPhage-display

Artificial spider web nexus

Artificial spider webNEXUS

Spider glands

Fibroin produced in a transgenic goat

Future materials

Future materials

Future materials1

Future materials



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