Polymers are examples of Macromolecules, large molecules with heavy atomic weights or chains of connected molecules. Because of their tendency to join in heterogeneous structures, polymers are usually very strong for their size.
Organic polymers (also Biopolymers) are naturally occuring chains of molecules such as cellulose and DNA, as opposed to synthetic polymers like plastic. Organic polymers are usually divided into three catagories:
- Polysaccharides are carbohydrate polymers which act as energy storage and food. Glucose and starch are examples of polysaccharides. They are often found in plants and are easily digested by most animals.
- Polypeptides are formed from amino acids and are normally used as hormonal signalers by the endocrine system. They are small and easily absorbed by cells, making them a useful method of communication.
- Polynucleotides are chains of nucleotide molecules, most commonly seen in DNA and RNA. These long chains contain an enormous amount of information used by the body to determine various needs, including growth and health.