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Accueil > Research > Analytical Development : Biomolecules

Chemistry and Heritage

publié le , mis à jour le

Chemistry and Heritage

Coordinator : Caroline Tokarski

For years, objects of art and archaeological remains are found and studied, revealing to us as a witness of an era, priceless historical details, socio-economic and cultural. However, the precise study of organic matter from samples of cultural heritage is a real analytical challenge.

Indeed, the samples are denatured for years by external conditions and aging, the organic material is included in complex structures and the smaller sample size is required for the analysis in order to preserve the work. We propose new developments based on proteomic techniques and lipidomics high resolutions to accurately identify the organic matter present in the works of cultural heritage. The extraction of proteins or lipids pictorial matrix or archaeological support represents a major challenge.

Indeed, the extraction conditions should ensure the maintenance of the physical and chemical integrity of these polypeptide or lipid entities to not interfere on results and ensure obtaining maximum information. Therefore, optimization of extraction conditions is made from paint models formulated compositions close to the old paintings or from modern ceramics (developed with an old process) impregnated protein materials and / or lipid (fresh fish, archaeological oils or residues of fish). The analytical process integrating nanochromatography and high resolution mass spectrometry is also optimized for the analysis of very small amounts of samples. Based on close collaboration between curators, conservators and archaeologists, for the first time, the biological species origin of proteins and lipids could be obtained from a few micrograms of old samples.