World Journal of Chemical Education
ISSN (Print): 2375-1665 ISSN (Online): 2375-1657 Website: Editor-in-chief: Prof. V. Jagannadham
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World Journal of Chemical Education. 2021, 9(1), 22-27
DOI: 10.12691/wjce-9-1-4
Open AccessArticle

Biological Models to Study Reaction Kinetic Mechanisms

Olaf A. Runquist1 and Bruce M. Boman2,

1Chemistry Department, Hamline University, St Paul MN 55104 USA,

2Department of Biological Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark DE 19711 USA

Pub. Date: January 29, 2021

Cite this paper:
Olaf A. Runquist and Bruce M. Boman. Biological Models to Study Reaction Kinetic Mechanisms. World Journal of Chemical Education. 2021; 9(1):22-27. doi: 10.12691/wjce-9-1-4


Our goal is to show how modeling of the dynamics of biological behavior in a system of living organisms illustrates the kinetics of molecular reactions. The experiments presented here include real-life modeling of the movement of fish in an aquarium tank and passage of fruit flies through a hole in a chamber. The use of these models also shows, by quantifying the movement of constituents in a system, that an equilibrium reaction is not static system. Rather, it is a dynamic system involving two reactions - a forward reaction and a backward reaction between reactants and products that are fluctuating to and fro in concentration. The results show that modeling behavior of fish represents equilibrium in 3D space while modeling movement of fruit flies characterizes an equilibrium in 2D space. The models also illustrate how biological systems can be used to derive rate constant values and energy of activation for rates of a reaction. Finally, our study illustrates how modeling the dynamics of biological systems provides students with an enhanced understanding of the concepts in chemistry and physics that describe the fundamental kinetic nature of our world.

kinetic mechanisms chemical education biological models

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