Determination of the Distributions of Degrees of Acetylation of Chitosan

Research paper by Joel Jerushan Thevarajah, Matthew Paul Van Leeuwen, Herve Cottet, Patrice Castignolles, Marianne Gaborieau

Indexed on: 22 Oct '16Published on: 19 Oct '16Published in: International Journal of Biological Macromolecules


Chitosan is often characterized by its average degree of acetylation. To increase chitosan’s use in various industries, a more thorough characterization is necessary as the acetylation of chitosan affects properties such as dissolution and mechanical properties of chitosan films. Despite the poor solubility of chitosan, free solution capillary electrophoresis (CE) allows a robust separation of chitosan by the degree of acetylation. The distribution of degrees of acetylation of various chitosan samples was characterized through their distributions of electrophoretic mobilities. These distributions can be obtained easily and with high precision. The heterogeneity of the chitosan chains in terms of acetylation was characterized through the dispersity of the electrophoretic mobility distributions obtained. The relationship between the number-average degree of acetylation obtained by solid-state NMR spectroscopy and the weight-average electrophoretic mobilities was established. The distribution of degrees of acetylation was determined using capillary electrophoresis in the critical conditions (CE-CC).

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