pH control of the third virial coefficient of hyaluronate solutions calculated from van der Waals forces by means of the Lifshitz-McLachlan susceptibility theory

Research paper by Terence W. Barrett

Indexed on: 01 Jun '86Published on: 01 Jun '86Published in: Journal of Biological Physics


Positive third virial coefficients and osmotic coefficients have been calculated for human umbilical cord hyaluronic acid solutions at pHs 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, and 8.5 and constant ionic strength 0.1. The calculations are based on experimental axial flow birefringence and radial linear dichroism data previously reported and the Lifshitz-McLachlan field theory of van der Waals forces. The second virial coefficients are negative, according to both this analysis and light scattering evidence, and reflect the tendency of hyaluronic acid to associate. This negativity denies the assumption of force additivity required by virial expansion theory.The results are in reasonable agreement with those of light scattering studies, and indicate the extreme nonideality of hyaluronate solutions with a high degree of pH control of osmotic pressure. The data are explained within the context of statistical mechanical and field theories of van der Waals forces, and the osmotic pressure of a solution is related to its optical properties. The numerical method used offers a way of exploring the applicability of modern interparticle force theory to biological systems.