- Electronic ISBN 9780080930107
- Print ISBN 9780444510990
Hydrostatic pressure is a powerful tool for study of biological systems. As a thermodynamic parameter, hydrostatic pressure has been known for a century to act on biological materials in a similar, but not identical, way to temperature. However, pressure was disregarded for a long time by biochemists mainly because the basic concepts (and the thermodynamics) focused on the chemical reactions involved and because general ideas on what pressure can add to the understanding of the behaviour of proteins were lacking. In recent decades, technological progress in the field of physics has shown, along with parameters such as temperature and solvent conditions, that pressure can be used for more refined thermodynamic and kinetic descriptions of biological processes and regulation of biological systems. The effects of pressure on proteins, nucleoproteins and membranes have recently been reviewed and several proceedings books have been published.