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Correlation Between Chain Architecture and Hydration Water Structure in Polysaccharides

Grossutti, Michael, Dutcher, John R.
Biomacromolecules 2016 v.17 no.3 pp. 1198-1204
carbohydrate structure, chitosan, hyaluronic acid, nanoparticles, physical properties, relative humidity, sorption, spectroscopy
The physical properties of confined water can differ dramatically from those of bulk water. Hydration water associated with polysaccharides provides a particularly interesting example of confined water, because differences in polysaccharide structure provide different spatially confined environments for water sorption. We have used attenuated total reflection infrared (ATR-IR) spectroscopy to investigate the structure of hydration water in films of three different polysaccharides under controlled relative humidity (RH) conditions. We compare the results obtained for films of highly branched, dendrimer-like phytoglycogen nanoparticles to those obtained for two unbranched polysaccharides, hyaluronic acid (HA), and chitosan. We find similarities between the water structuring in the two linear polysaccharides and significant differences for phytoglycogen. In particular, the results suggest that the high degree of branching in phytoglycogen leads to a much more well-ordered water structure (low density, high connectivity network water), indicating the strong influence of chain architecture on the structuring of water. These measurements provide unique insight into the relationship between the structure and hydration of polysaccharides, which is important for understanding and exploiting these sustainable nanomaterials in a wide range of applications.