Development and Evaluation of Amino Acid Molecular Models

Aparecido R. Silva, Leila M. Beltramini


The comprehension of structure and function of proteins has a tight relationship
with the development of structural biology. However, biochemistry students usually
find difficulty to visualize the structures when they use only schematic drawings of
didactic books. The representation of three-dimensional structures of some
biomolecules with ludic models, built with representative units, have supplied to
the students and teachers a successfully experience to better visualize and
correlate the structures to the real molecules. The present work shows the
developed models and the process to produce the representative units of the main
amino acids in industrial scale. The design and applicability of the representative
units were discussed with many teachers and some suggestions were
implemented to the models. The preliminary evaluation and perspective of
utilization by researchers show that the work is in the right direction. At the actual
stage, the models are defined, prototypes were made and will be presented in this
meeting. The moulds for the units are at the final stage of construction and trial in
specialized tool facilities. The last term will consist of an effective evaluation of the
didactic tool for the teaching/learning process in Structural Molecular Biology. The
evaluation protocol is being elaborated containing simple and objective questions,
similar to those used in research on science teaching.


amino acids; didactic; structure

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