Molecular Flexibility of Methylcelluloses of Differing Degree of Substitution by Combined Sedimentation and Viscosity Analysis

Trushar R. Patel, Gordon A. Morris, Jose Garcia de la Torre, Alvaro Ortega, Petra Mischnick, Stephen E. Harding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


The flexibility/rigidity of methylcelluloses (MCs) plays an important part in their structure-function relationship and therefore on their commercial applications in the food and biomedical industries. In the present study, two MCs of low degree of substitution (DS) 1.09 and 1.32 and four of high DS (1.80, 1.86, 1.88 and 1.93) were characterised in distilled water in terms of intrinsic viscosity [η]; sedimentation coefficient (s20,w 0) and weight average molar mass (M̄w). Solution conformation and flexibility were estimated qualitatively using conformation zoning and quantitatively (persistence length Lp) using the new combined global method. Sedimentation conformation zoning showed an extended coil (Type C) conformation and the global method applied to each MC sample yielded persistence lengths all within the range Lp = 12-17 nm (for a fixed mass per unit length) with no evidence of any significant change in flexibility with DS. A graph is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1108-1115
Number of pages8
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Issue number12
Early online date5 Aug 2008
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


Cite this