Molecular characterization of animal glues for restoration purposes

Published: 9 June 2021| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/hbmc8yhf7y.1
georgia ntasi,
Leila Birolo


Animal glues are widely used in restoration, serving as adhesives, binders, and consolidants for or-ganic and inorganic materials. Their performance is intrinsically linked to the adhesive properties of collagen, which determines the glue’s chemical, physical, and mechanical properties. In order to molecularly characterize a set of artificial and commercial glues, proteins, lipids, and sugars were investigated by a range of mass spectrometric techniques. A shotgun proteomic approach provided the animal origin, even when in mixture, discriminating also between hide and bone glue. Bone glue on the basis of the presence of collagen type III, which is absent in bone and present in connective skin/hide tissues. Chemical modifications, including backbone cleavage, are expected to be affected by the actual preparation protocol from the original animal tissue, as it is reflected by the big variability observed among the different glues. Deamidation, methionine oxidation and backbone cleavage were systematically analysed as main signatures of collagen damage. GC-MS analysis demonstrated the co presence of natural and/or synthetic organic molecules. EGA-MS analysis is now in progress for a further molecular characterization, associated also with the glues’ different physical properties.


Steps to reproduce

Protein identification via bioinformatic tools (i.e MASCOT, MAXQUANT) using the present fasta file.


Mass Spectrometry, Small Molecule, Proteomics Experimental Approach, Ancient Art Decoration