Self-diffusion of nonfreezing water in porous carbohydrate polymer systems studied with nuclear magnetic resonance

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Abstract

Water is an integral part of the structure in biological porous materials such as wood and starch. A problem often encountered in the preparation of samples for, e.g., electron microscopy is that removal of water leads to a decreasing distance between supermolecular structural elements and a distortion of the structure. It is, therefore, of interest to find methods to investigate these materials in the native water-swollen state. We present a method to study water-swollen biological porous structures using NMR to determine the amount and self-diffusion of water within the porous objects. The contribution of bulk water to the NMR signal is eliminated by performing experiments below the bulk freezing temperature. Further decrease of the temperature leads to a gradual freezing of water within the porous objects. The contribution of
he freezing water fraction to the migration of water through the porous network is, thus, estimated. The results are rationalized in terms of the ultrastructure of the samples studied, namely, wood pulp fibers and potato starch granules.

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  • Biophysics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3596-3606
JournalBiophysical Journal
Volume83
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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