Search programme

​Use the search function to search amongst programmes at Chalmers. The programme overview and the programme syllabus relating to your studies are generally from the academic year you began your studies.


Syllabus for

Academic year
KPO045 - Biopolymers and biocomposites
Owner: TKBIA
5,0 Credits (ECTS 7,5)
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Level: C

Teaching language: Swedish

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 No Sp
0199 Examination 5,0 c Grading: TH   5,0 c   Contact examiner,  Contact examiner

In programs



Professor  Paul Gatenholm


For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.


The aim of this course is for the students to gain knowledge of biopolymers and biocomposites which are used as structural materials. The intention of this course is to bridge gap between biology, physics and chemistry and therefor this course is suitable for chemists, biologists and material scientists. In the course we present biologist's analysis of structural material of organisms, using molecular biology as astarting point. We will explore the chemical structure of biopolymers, illustrating how they composition determine mechanical properties of the materials in which they occur - including skin, artery, plant tissue, stiff composites such as insect cuticle and wood, and biological ceramics such as teefth, bone and egg-shell. Finally we will discuss with students how the design from nature with biomimicry can be applied in developing new "intelligent" materials.


Many material systems found in nature exhibit a combination of properties that is not found in synthetic systems. The unique performance of natural materials arises from precise hierarchial organization over a large range of length scales. These materials display unique properties that are affected by structure and generative processes at all levels of the biological structural hierarchy.

The following subjects will be discussed in lectures.
Introduction to macromolecules (polymers)
Basic material properties
Theory of Elasticity and Viscoelasticity
Structural proteins (keratins, silk, collagen, elastin, resilin and abductin)
Materials based on combination of proteins and polysaccharides
Biocomposites (locust tendon, horn keratin, wood and other selected plants)
Biological ceramics and biomineralization.
Biomimetic materials
In addition to series of lectures students will partici-pate in projects in which they will make experi-ments with biological materials such as wood, shells, mussel adhesives, spider silk, bones etc


J. Vincent. Structural Biomaterials


Written exam, project report and project presentation

Page manager Published: Thu 03 Nov 2022.