Graphical spreadsheet tools for learning enzyme kinetics

Simon Brown, David C. Simcock

Abstract


Many students lack sufficient mathematical skill or confidence to be able to visualise a process just by looking at an equation. This is particularly apparent when students are working on the dynamics of enzyme action.  Understanding the basic concepts of enzyme kinetics is essential to any appreciation of the chemical processes that occur in living organisms.  Fortunately, learning can be enhanced by direct manipulation of the parameters while students observe the behaviour of the graphs of the functions.  Spreadsheets are described that enable students to analyse the significance of the parameters at several levels, to connect concepts between levels of treatment and to use the basic expression in the analysis of their own experiments.  Methods for constructing these spreadsheets in Excel and the essentials of the relevant theory are also summarised.

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