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Biopolymers pp 57-192 | Cite as

Structural and mechanical properties of biopolymer gels

  • Allan H. Clark
  • Simon B. Ross-Murphy
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Polymer Science book series (POLYMER, volume 83)

Abstract

The structural and mechanical properties of gels formed from biopolymers are discussed both in terms of the techniques used to characterise these systems, and in terms of the systems themselves. The techniques included are spectroscopic, chiroptical and scattering methods, optical and electron microscopy, thermodynamic and kinetic methods and rheological characterisation. The systems considered are presented in order of increasing complexity of secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure, starting with gels which arise from essentially ‘disordered’ biopolymers via formation of ‘quasicrystalline’ junction zones (e.g. gelatin, carrageenans, agarose, alginates etc.), and extending to networks derived from globular and rod-like species (fibrin, globular proteins, caseins, myosin) by a variety of crosslinking mechanisms. Throughout the text, efforts are made to pursue the link (both from experiment and from theory) between the structural methods and mechanical measurements. As far as we are aware this is the first major Review of this area since that of J. D. Ferry in 1948 — The interest shown by polymer physicists in more complex biochemical systems, and the multi-disciplinary approaches now being applied in this area, make the format adopted here, in our opinion, the most logical and appropriate.

Keywords

Circular Dichroism Globular Protein Junction Zone Casein Micelle Primary Chain 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Glossary of Symbols and Abbreviations

BST

Blatz, Sharda and Tschoegl (equation)

CD

circular dichroism

CSK

Coniglio, Stanley and Klein (theory)

DCF

density correlation function

DLVO

Deryjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeck (theory)

d.s.c.

differential scanning calorimetry

FRS

forced Rayleigh scattering

FS

Flory-Stockmayer (theory)

M/G

mannuronic/galacturonic acid ratio (alginates)

NMR

nuclear magnetic resonance

ORD

optical rotatory dispersion

i.r.

infrared spectroscopy

QELS

quasi-elastic light scattering

UV

ultraviolet spectroscopy

a

generalised front factor

C

concentration

C0

critical gelling concentration

C*

chain overlap concentration

C0

initial concentration

C1, C2

Mooney-Rivlin coefficients

D

Hausdorff dimension

D

Z-average translational diffusion coefficient

Dapp

apparent D measured at finite q

Dm

mutual diffusion coefficient

Dself

self diffusion coefficient

DZ

effective diffusion coefficient

DPn

number average degree of polymerisation

E

Young's modulus

f

friction coefficient

f

functionality

fw

weight-average functionality

f1

fraction of residues in ordered conformation

g

rubber elasticity front factor

G

shear modulus

G′

real part of oscillatory shear modulus

G″

imaginary part of oscillatory shear modulus

G*

complex oscillatory shear modulus

Ge

equilibrium shear modulus

h

fraction of residues in helical conformation

hg

value of h at the gel point

ΔHu

enthalpy of gel melting (Takahishi theory)

ΔH0

van't Hoff enthalpy

J(t)

creep compliance at time t

Je

equilibrium creep compliance

k

Boltzmann's constant

ks

Smoluchowski rate constant

M

molecular weight between crosslinks

Me

entanglement molecular weight

Mj

molecular weight of junction zone

Mos

osmotic modulus

Mr

relative molecular mass (molecular weight)

Mw

weight average molecular weight

M0

initial molecular weight (coagulation kinetics)

n

parameter in BST equation

n

molecularity of junction zones

Ne

number of elastically active junction zones

p

axial (length/diameter) ratio for rods

pB

bond probability (CSK theory)

q

scattering vector =(4ν/λ) sin (ϑ/2)

r

molecular weight ratio (Eq. 36)

R

gas constant

s

order parameter in helix-coil transition theory

〈S2Z

Z-average mean square radius of gyration

t

time

tg

gel time

T

absolute temperature

Tm

helix-coil midpoint temperature

Tmk

gel melting temperature (°K)

T2

transverse relaxation time (NMR)

Tτ

effective lifetime of temporary crosslinks

v

extinction probability

Vmax

maximum rate of enzyme cleavage

Vmol

volume per mole of primary chains

\(\bar V_2\)

polymer partial specific volume

Wg

gel fraction

x

number of junction zones per primary chain

α

proportion of reacted functionalities

αc

critical value of α at the gel point

[α]

specific optical rotation

[α]t

value of [α] at time t

γ

shear strain

γmax

maximum shear strain

\(\dot \gamma\)

shear strain rate

δ

loss angle (tan δ = G″/G′)

δ

exponent in concentration dependence of modulus

ε

tensile strain

εB

tensile strain at failure

ζ

correlation length

η

viscosity

[η]

intrinsic viscosity

ϑ

scattering angle

λ

wavelength

λ

extension ratio

μ′

constraint release parameter

ξ

statistical weight (CSK theory)

π

osmotic pressure

ϱ(r)

density of particles in volume element r from 0

σ

shear stress

σ

helix interruption constant

σt

shear stress at time t

σT

tensile stress

σB

tensile stress at failure

τ

relaxation time

τ

scaled time in coagulation equation

φ

proportionality constant in theory of elasticity

φ

volume fraction

φg

critical volume fraction for gelation

φp

volume fraction of rods in Flory theory

φp*

critical value of φp

φs

volume fraction of solvent

ω

oscillatory frequency

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allan H. Clark
    • 1
  • Simon B. Ross-Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.Unilever Research, Colworth House, SharnbrookBedfordUK

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