Organic Polymers

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•  Identification of biochemicals such as sugars, lipids or amino acids from molecular diagrams


The structure of complex carbohydrates may vary depending on the composition of monomeric subunits

Polysaccharides may differ according to the type of monosaccharide they possess and the way the subunits bond together

  • Glucose monomers can be combined to form a variety of different polymers – including glycogen, cellulose and starch

Polymers of Glucose

glucose polymers


Lipids can be roughly organised into one of three main classes:

  • Simple (neutral) lipids – Esters of fatty acids and alcohol (e.g. triglycerides and waxes)
  • Compound lipids – Esters of fatty acids, alcohol and additional groups (e.g. phospholipids and glycolipids) 
  • Derived lipids – Substances derived from simple or compound lipids (e.g. steroids and carotenoids)

Three Main Types of Lipids

lipid types


Amino acids join together by peptide bonds which form between the amine and carboxyl groups of adjacent amino acids

The fusion of two amino acids creates a dipeptide, with further additions resulting in the formation of a polypeptide chain

  • The subsequent folding of the chain depends on the order of amino acids in a sequence (based on chemical properties)

Formation of a Dipeptide


Nucleic Acids

Nucleotides form bonds between the pentose sugar and phosphate group to form long polynucleotide chains

  • In DNA, two complementary chains will pair up via hydrogen bonding between nitrogenous bases to form double strands
  • This double stranded molecule may then twist to form a double helical arrangement

Formation of a Polynucleotide Chain

nucleotide organisation