Chemical Analysis of H. pomatia Mucus Constituents: A study investigating the main constituents of the adhesive mucus extracted from H. pomatia snails, and the variation in the chemical composition of mucus over time and under different conditions

Maria Mahmoud Abboud

Studenteropgave: Fagmodulprojekt


Snail mucus exhibits a variety of skin nourishing and therapeutic properties which have been exploited in medicine and skin care products ever since ancient Greece. Although a mixture of active ingredients is re-sponsible for these properties, the full chemical composition of mucus has still not been characterized com-prehensively. As a result, this study is set out to investigate the overall chemical composition as well as individual constituents of this snail secretion. Furthermore, the implications of the constituents’ mutual in-teractions on the mucus’s chemical properties are also investigated. Thus, this is studied in light of the re-search question:

What are the main constituents of the adhesive mucus extracted from Helix pomatia snails, and how does its chemical composition vary over time and under different conditions?

To find an answer to this question, we quantitatively determined the amount of protein in H. pomatia mu-cus as a whole and in its individual separated fractions. Furthermore, we tested the mucus explicitly for the presence of the glycosaminoglycan, hyaluronic acid, by highly specific enzymatic digestion. The test for hyaluronic acid was negative, suggesting mucus therefore to contain a sulfated glycosaminoglycan (GAGs) instead. Besides water, protein is the major constituent of H. pomatia mucus, comprising approximately 65.3% of its dry weight, with 3-11% contributed by the Helix pomatia agglutinin (HPA), quantified in this study for the first time. Additionally, comparing our results to those reported from H. aspersa revealed that typical adhesive mucus composition differs even between closely related species of snails.

UddannelserBasis - International Naturvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato18 dec. 2018
Antal sider27
VejledereTorben Lund & Poul Erik Hansen