Characterization of chemical substitution of hydroxypropyl cellulose using enzymatic degradation

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The distribution of substituents along the polymer backbone will have a strong influence on the properties of modified cellulose. Endoglucanases were used to degrade a series of hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) derivatives with a high degree of substitution. The HPCs were characterized with cloud-point analysis prior to degradation. The extent of enzymatic degradation was determined with size-exclusion chromatography with online multi-angle light scattering and refractive index detection and also with high-pH anion exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection. To further characterize the formed products, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry was employed for analysis of short-chained oligosaccharides. The different endoglucanases showed varying degradation capability depending on structure of the active site. The highly substituted HPCs had different susceptibility to degradation by the endoglucanases. The results show a difference in substituent distribution between HPCs, which would explain the differing cloud-point behaviors. Increased number of regions with low substitution could be, correlated with lower polymer cloud point. The study shows the usefulness of enzymatic degradation to study the distribution of substituents in soluble biopolymer derivates.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biological Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-85
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch