Essay Sample: Biochemical, Pharmaceutical, and Diagnostic Chemical Reactions. Catalysts

Published: 2022-09-09
Essay Sample: Biochemical, Pharmaceutical, and Diagnostic Chemical Reactions. Catalysts
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Biology Chemistry
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 956 words
8 min read

Part One: Biochemical, Pharmaceutical, and Diagnostic Chemical Reactions

Biochemical reactions refer to processes taking place inside the body cells to convert molecules from one form to a different form. These reactions are controlled by biological catalysts known as enzymes. Enzymes modify the rate and specificity of biological processes taking place within the body cells (Jayaveera, Subramanyam & Reddy, 2014). Biochemical reactions can either be catabolic or anabolic in nature thus result into break down or building up of molecules respectively.

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On the other hand, pharmaceutical chemical reaction refers to the interaction between medication and the human body. In such reaction, medication component originates from outside the body and interacts with biochemical agents such as enzymes to either alter or trigger their rates.

Diagnostic chemical reactions are procedures meant to conduct a test. The reactions utilize diagnostic chemicals with an objective of measuring or testing a certain aspect of an organism's health (Jayaveera, Subramanyam & Reddy, 2014). Samples such as urine or blood are obtained from the organism then subjected to certain chemicals known as reagents. A physician is then able to review and a draw diagnostic conclusion about the organism's health based on the reaction between the sample and chemical reagents.

Example for Each Reaction, Importance to Healthcare Professionals, and Chemical Equation

An example of a biochemical reaction is a catabolic reaction (breakdown of glucose). The reaction helps health professionals to understand the process of an exothermic reaction which allows organisms to breakdown glucose to release energy required for cell function.

C6H12O6 + 6O2 6CO2 + 6H2O + 2870 kj

From the equation, glucose is broken down into carbon dioxide, water, and energy. The process involves a series of steps where 2870 kilojoules of energy are released for every molecule of glucose (Jayaveera, Subramanyam & Reddy, 2014). This energy is then stored as adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

An example of a pharmaceutical chemical reaction is the introduction of a beta-1 receptor into the body to increase the heart function. Such reaction helps healthcare professionals to understand the functioning of medication and their side effects. The reactions also allow healthcare professionals to control medicine-body interaction especially when exogenous medicine is introduced into the body to alter chemical reactions to produce a specific desirable effect (Upchurch, 2017).

Epinephrine/adrenaline + beta 1 = increased blood pressure + increased heart rate

The above reaction results in increased blood circulation to supply the muscles with extra oxygen and energy. This then results in a flight or fight response (Upchurch, 2017). However, when the alpha-receptors are blocked using alpha-blocker medication, the arteries would dilate (Upchurch, 2017). The use of medication to block alpha-receptors is usually employed to treat hypertension.

An example of a diagnostic chemical reaction is serum albumin test. Through the test, healthcare professionals are able to establish the level of serum albumin in the blood. It involves treating a blood serum sample with bromocresol green chemical. The reaction results into binding between albumin protein and the chemical reagent to produce a colored complex. The spectroscopic measure obtained from the colored complex's light absorbability is then used to determine the level of albumin in the blood (Jayaveera, Subramanyam & Reddy, 2014). The normal level of serum albumin in the blood is supposed to be 3.4 to 5.4 gdl. Therefore, the low albumen level might be associated with certain health conditions such as liver disease, inflammation, shock, Crohn's disease, and malnutrition.

Blood serum sample + bromocresol green = colored complex

Part Two: Catalysts

Classes of Catalysts and Difference between Them

Catalysts are classified into heterogeneous and homogeneous. Heterogeneous catalysts are substances which are introduced into the reaction at a different point from the reactants to speed the reaction rate (Alberts, 2017). Such catalysts are always added into the reaction inform of solid while the reactants can either be solid or liquid. On the other hand, homogeneous catalysts are substances which are introduced into the reaction at the same phase as reactants (Alberts, 2017). These homogeneous substances are in-form of either liquid or gas.

Catalyst found in the Human Body, It's Importance and How It Works

Enzymes are the most common form of catalyst found in the human body. Enzymes are protein substances which speed up biochemical reactions which would otherwise be too slowly (Alberts, 2017). They also allow communication between body cells thus controlling all cell processes such as growth, life, and death. Gut enzymes help the body to break down large molecules into small components which are then absorbed into the body's bloodstream (Alberts, 2017). Similarly, enzymes responsible for DNA production, build large complex molecules from smaller ones.

Enzymes work through an enzyme-substrate interaction process. That is, certain enzymes have active sites which are shaped to bind with a substrate in a lock-and-key manner while other enzymes alter their shape to connect with the substrate (Alberts, 2017). Substrate-enzyme binding results into the formation of a new molecule which is then released into the body cell to catalyze other reactions.

Chemical Reactions of Biological Catalyst Combines with a Reactant (Substrate) To Form an Unstable

Carbonic Anhydrase is an enzyme found in the body. Its role is to catalyze the formation of carbonic acid through a reversible process. Formation of carbonic acid is activated by an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood (Alberts, 2017). Through the reversible reaction, carbon anhydrase ensures that the level of carbonic acid in the blood tissues is regulated to successfully balance the body pH.

CO2 + H2O Carbonic anhydrase H2CO3


Alberts, B. (2017). Molecular biology of the cell. New York: Garland Science.

Jayaveera, K. N., Subramanyam, S., & Reddy, K. Y. (2014). Pharmaceutical biochemistry. New Delhi: S Chand & Company PVT ltd.

Upchurch, J. (2017). Receptors and the automatic nervous system: The balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system keeps our automated body functions working properly. Retrieved from

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