Characterization of the substitution pattern of cellulose derivatives using carbohydrate-binding modules

Laura von Schantz, Herje Schagerlöf, Eva Nordberg Karlsson, Mats Ohlin

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Background: Derivatized celluloses, such as methylcellulose (MC) and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), are of pharmaceutical importance and extensively employed in tablet matrices. Each batch of derivatized cellulose is thoroughly characterized before utilized in tablet formulations as batch-to-batch differences can affect drug release. The substitution pattern of the derivatized cellulose polymers, i.e. the mode on which the substituent groups are dispersed along the cellulose backbone, can vary from batch-to-batch and is a factor that can influence drug release. Results: In the present study an analytical approach for the characterization of the substitution pattern of derivatized celluloses is presented, which is based on the use of carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs) and affinity electrophoresis. CBM4-2 from Rhodothermus marinus xylanase 10A is capable of distinguishing between batches of derivatized cellulose with different substitution patterns. This is demonstrated by a higher migration retardation of the CBM in acrylamide gels containing batches of MC and HPMC with a more heterogeneous distribution pattern. Conclusions: We conclude that CBMs have the potential to characterize the substitution pattern of cellulose derivatives and anticipate that with use of CBMs with a very selective recognition capacity it will be possible to more extensively characterize and standardize important carbohydrates used for instance in tablet formulation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113
JournalBMC Biotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Immunology in the medical area
  • Industrial Biotechnology


  • Substitution pattern
  • Methylcellulose
  • Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose
  • Application of carbohydrate-binding modules


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