Initial Characterization of Ethyl(hydroxyethyl) Cellulose Using Enzymic Degradation and Chromatographic Methods

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Abstract

Two different ethyl(hydroxyethyl) cellulose (EHEC) samples were characterized by size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) with multiangle light scattering (MALS) detection and high-performance anion-exchange chromatography (HPAEC) with pulsed amperometric detection (PAD). The aim of the study was to investigate the molar mass distribution and the heterogeneity of the substituent distribution, factors that are thought to affect the functional properties of EHEC. The presence of blocks of unsubstituted glucose units was studied by enzymic degradation of EHEC by two different endoglucanases from Trichoderma reesei. The SEC-MALS analysis of the hydrolysis products showed that both enzymes were strongly inhibited by the large number of substituents along the cellulose chain. However, as the weight-average molar mass was reduced from approximately 360 000 to 80 000 g/mol in one of the polymers and from 770 000 to 60 000 g/mol in the other polymer, it was suggested that both samples were composed of some unsubstituted regions where the enzymes got access to the glucosidic bonds. The amount of glucose released upon endoglucanase hydrolysis was determined by HPAEC-PAD, which gave information on the homogeneity of the substituent distribution. The production of unsubstituted glucose units indicated that one of the polymers had a more uneven distribution compared with the other. It was demonstrated that chemical characterization of EHEC is a complex task, which requires an analytical approach involving numerous different methods and techniques.

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  • Biological Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1359-1363
JournalBiomacromolecules
Volume3
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes