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Oxyalkylation modification as a promising method for preparing low-melting-point agarose

Zhang, Na, Wang, Jianglin, Ye, Jing, Zhao, Peng, Xiao, Meitian
International journal of biological macromolecules 2018 v.117 pp. 696-703
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, agarose, commercialization, ethylene oxide, gel electrophoresis, gel strength, gelatinization temperature, melting point, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, rheology
In this study, agarose was chemically modified with ethylene oxide, 1,2-epoxypropane and 1,2-epoxybutane, to prepare hydroxyethyl agarose (HEAG), hydroxypropyl agarose (HPAG), and hydroxybutyl agarose (HBAG). The structures and properties of the products were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), ¹H NMR spectroscopy, X-ray diffractometry (XRD), rheology measurement and gel electrophoresis. The results showed that the gelling temperature (Tg) of HEAG, HPAG, and HBAG were decreased to 28.3 °C, 29.0 °C and 28.7 °C respectively, with the melting temperature (Tm) simultaneously declined to 64.2 °C, 63.8 °C and 63.0 °C, respectively. Meanwhile, the gel strength of HBAG, HEAG, and HPAG were dramatically reduced to 194 g/cm², 312 g/cm² and 279 g/cm², respectively. Furthermore, HEAG and HPAG showed excellent separation efficiency which is in accordance with commercialized low-melting-point (LMP) agarose (Amersco 0815). These results indicated that oxyalkylation is a promising and economical method for the preparation of LMP agarose.