Topics - biopolymers
Large molecular weight polymers that have been synthesized by biological systems are called biopolymers
. Two of the more common biopolymers are proteins and carbohydrates. Proteins comprise a number of different a
-amino acids joined together by peptide bonds formed by the condensation of the carboxyl group of one amino acid with the amino group of a second amino acid. The condensation of a few amino acids (10-20) produce peptides
; the further condensation of peptides yield polypeptides
and the condensation of polypeptides yield proteins
. There are 20 a
-amino acids associated with mammalian proteins. The condensation of pentoses and hexoses and other small molecular weight sugars yield complex carbohydrates such as starch, complex sugars and cellulose. Proteins can exhibit dispersive, polar and ionic interactivity whereas sugars predominantly display polar and dispersive interactivity. Biopolymers are also often separated on the basis of size by an appropriate form of exclusion chromatography.