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

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 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

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

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

Polysaccharide structure chitin polyglucosamin
Polysaccharide structureChitin: polyglucosamin

Polysaccharide structure starch amylose and amylopectin
Polysaccharide structureStarch: Amylose and amylopectin

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 design1
Surface design


Peptide Nucleic Acid

Artificial spider web nexus
Artificial spider webNEXUS

Spider glands

Fibroin produced in a transgenic goat

Future materials1
Future materials