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An irreversible alteration of a protein's structure that can be caused by heat, water, alkalis, acids and detergents. In denaturation, hydrogen bonds break causing the highly ordered structure of collagen to change into a disordered gelatin mass. Denaturation of parchment and leather has been measured using infrared spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, and liquid chromatographic techniques (Derrick, 1999)

Resources and Citations

  • M.Derrick, D.Stulik, J.Landry, Infrared Spectroscopy in Conservation Science, in Scientific Tools for Conservation series, Getty Trust, 1999, p. 167.
  • Richard C. Wolbers, Nanette T. Sterman, Chris Stavroudis, Notes for Workshop on New Methods in the Cleaning of Paintings, J.Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 1990