Comprehensive Chemical Analysis of Cellular Composition: Confirming Hypotheses through Experimental Techniques

Categories: Science

The cellular chemical composition is a complex interplay of various organic and inorganic molecules essential for the functioning and survival of living organisms. Understanding the molecular makeup of cells is crucial for advancing our knowledge in biology, medicine, and biotechnology. In this laboratory, we will conduct a detailed analysis of the chemical composition of cells through various experimental techniques, calculations, and formulations.

I. Sample Preparation:

Before delving into the analytical methods, it is essential to prepare cellular samples for testing. We will use a standardized cell culture and extraction protocol to obtain representative samples.

The extraction process will involve breaking down cell membranes and isolating cellular components for subsequent analysis.

II. Quantification of Biomolecules:

A. Proteins:

  1. Bradford Assay: We will employ the Bradford assay to quantify protein content. This colorimetric method relies on the binding of Coomassie Brilliant Blue dye to proteins, resulting in a measurable change in absorbance.
  2. Calculation of Protein Concentration: Utilizing the absorbance values obtained from the Bradford assay, we will calculate the protein concentration using a standard curve generated with known protein concentrations.

    Get quality help now
    Sweet V
    Sweet V
    checked Verified writer

    Proficient in: Science

    star star star star 4.9 (984)

    “ Ok, let me say I’m extremely satisfy with the result while it was a last minute thing. I really enjoy the effort put in. ”

    avatar avatar avatar
    +84 relevant experts are online
    Hire writer

B. Nucleic Acids:

  1. DNA Quantification: The laboratory will utilize a spectrophotometer to measure the absorbance at 260 nm for DNA quantification. The concentration of DNA will be determined based on the Lambert-Beer law.
  2. RNA Quantification: The concentration of RNA will be determined through a similar spectrophotometric method, with absorbance measured at 260 nm.

C. Carbohydrates:

  1. Anthrone Assay: Carbohydrate content will be assessed using the anthrone assay. Anthrone reacts with carbohydrates to produce a blue-green color, and the intensity of this color is proportional to the carbohydrate concentration.

    Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
    Number of pages
    Email Invalid email

    By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

    "You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
    Write my paper

    You won’t be charged yet!

  2. Calculating Carbohydrate Concentration: The laboratory will perform calculations based on the colorimetric readings to determine the concentration of carbohydrates.

III. Inorganic Analysis:

A. Minerals and Ions:

  1. Flame Photometry: Flame photometry will be employed to analyze the concentration of essential minerals and ions in the cellular samples.
  2. Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS): ICP-MS will be used for a more detailed analysis of trace elements and metals present in the cellular composition.

IV. Lipid Analysis:

A. Thin-Layer Chromatography (TLC): Thin-layer chromatography will be used to separate and identify different lipid classes based on their mobility on a chromatography plate.

  1. Visualization and Quantification: Staining techniques and densitometry will be used to visualize and quantify the separated lipid classes.

V. Data Presentation and Analysis:

All experimental data will be presented in tabular form, including the raw measurements and calculated concentrations. Graphical representations, such as bar graphs and scatter plots, will aid in visualizing trends and differences in the chemical composition of the tested cells.

This laboratory provides a comprehensive approach to analyzing the chemical composition of cells. By employing various analytical techniques and calculations, researchers can gain valuable insights into the intricate molecular makeup of living organisms. This knowledge has far-reaching implications, from advancing our understanding of cellular biology to facilitating breakthroughs in medicine and biotechnology.

The cell, the fundamental unit of all living organisms, is comprised of four primary biopolymers: proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids. These macromolecules are large polymers formed from smaller constituent molecules known as monomers. For instance, proteins are composed of a linear chain of amino acids connected by peptide bonds (Murray et al., 2006). Carbohydrates, on the other hand, are formed from monosaccharides and disaccharides linked by glycosidic bonds (Varki et al., 2008). Lipids, including fats and oils, result from the combination of glycerol with three fatty acids through ester bonds (G.P. Moss, 1976). Lastly, nucleic acids are made up of nucleotides, each containing a pentose sugar, phosphate group, and nucleobase (Mullis, 1993).

In this experiment, various chemical tests will be conducted to detect the presence of each macromolecule in the given samples. Predictions have been made based on the known characteristics of the samples. For example, it is expected that albumin will contain traces of protein as it is found in egg whites, a known source of protein. The potato, being the root of a plant, is predicted to contain starch, while the onion, being the bulb of a plant, is expected to show no trace of starch. Glucose solution, being a monosaccharide, is predicted to test positive for sugars. The experiment also predicts that a paper square with a drop of water will evaporate, leaving no residue, while a paper square with a drop of vegetable oil will leave a spot due to the properties of fats.


a. Proteins

  • Test for Proteins: Four labeled test tubes were filled with samples (distilled water, albumin, pepsin, or starch). Each received 5 drops of biuret reagent, and color changes were noted.

b. Carbohydrates

  • Test for Starch: Five labeled test tubes were filled with samples (water, starch suspension, onion juice, potato juice, or glucose solution). Each received 5 drops of iodine solution, and color changes were noted.
  • Microscopic Study: A thin slice of potato was observed under a microscope after adding iodine solution to note cell wall and starch grain details.
  • Test for Sugars: Five labeled test tubes were filled with samples (water, glucose solution, starch suspension, onion juice, or potato juice). Each received 5 drops of Benedict's reagent and underwent boiling water bath. Color changes were noted.
  • Starch Composition: Two labeled test tubes were filled with water and starch, treated with pancreatic amylase, and then with Benedict's reagent after 30 minutes of incubation. Color changes were noted after heating.

c. Lipids

  • Test for Fat: Water and vegetable oil drops on paper squares were left for 15 minutes, and any changes were evaluated.

d. Unknown Substances

  • Chemical Composition: Distilled water and four unknown samples underwent tests for proteins, starches, sugars, and fats. Composition of each sample was noted.


    • Proteins: Distilled water and starch tested negative; albumin and pepsin tested positive.
    • Starches: Water, onion juice, and glucose solution tested negative; starch suspension and potato juice tested positive.
    • Sugars: Water and starch suspension tested negative; glucose solution, onion juice, and potato juice tested positive.
    • Starch Composition: Water showed no color change; starch turned cloudy light-brown.
    • Fats: Water spot evaporated; oil spot did not evaporate, leaving a residual spot.
    • Unknown Test: Distilled water tested negative in all procedures; Unknown (A) tested negative for proteins and starches but positive for sugars and lipids; Unknown (B) tested negative for proteins and starches but positive for sugars and lipids; Unknown (C) tested negative for proteins and lipids but positive for starches and sugars; Unknown (D) tested negative for starches, sugars, and lipids but positive for proteins.

The examination of albumin for protein presence confirmed my initial hypothesis, as traces of protein were indeed detected in the substance. I drew inspiration from the composition of egg whites, considering them as a basis for my hypothesis since they provide essential nutrients for embryo growth, logically implying the presence of proteins. The testing procedure applied to potatoes for starch presence supported my second hypothesis, revealing traces of starch in the substance. Given the storage function of plant roots, particularly in the form of starch, this result aligned with expectations.

Contrarily, the onion bulb tested negative for starch, reinforcing the notion that starches are specific to certain plant parts, with onions relying on fructose for energy storage. The examination of a glucose solution for sugar content validated my third hypothesis, as traces of sugars were identified. Considering glucose as a monosaccharide and a component of sugar, it was reasonable to expect the presence of sugar in the solution. Lastly, the results of water and vegetable oil drops on paper squares aligned with predictions. The high adhesion between oil particles necessitates more energy for evaporation compared to water.

Updated: Feb 26, 2024
Cite this page

Comprehensive Chemical Analysis of Cellular Composition: Confirming Hypotheses through Experimental Techniques. (2024, Feb 26). Retrieved from

Live chat  with support 24/7

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment