Intermolecular Forces in Bovine Serum Albumin Solutions Exhibiting Solidlike Mechanical Behaviors

Biomacromolecules. Winter 2000;1(4):757-63. doi: 10.1021/bm005587o.


Mechanical properties of bovine serum albumin (BSA) solutions were analyzed to gain information on intermolecular forces that stabilize the system under normal physiological conditions. BSA solutions showed unexpectedly large zero shear viscosity values under steady shear flows but responded like solids to sinusoidal linear strains: the storage shear moduli were always larger than the loss shear moduli in the frequency range 1-100 rad/s. These results suggest that BSA solutions are so-called colloidal crystals in which colloidal particles are ordered in an array due to strong repulsive forces among particles. However, the pair potential between BSA molecules predicted based on the conventional Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek theory failed to explain these remarkable mechanical properties of BSA solutions. Additional repulsive forces other than electrostatic must be introduced to explain stability of BSA aqueous dispersions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Elasticity
  • Ovalbumin / chemistry
  • Protein Denaturation
  • Rats
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine / chemistry*
  • Solutions
  • Viscosity


  • Solutions
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine
  • Ovalbumin