Production of dextran and dextran derivatives​

DEAE Dextran​

Physical characteristics of DEAE Dextran:

DEAE-Dextran is a polycationic derivative of Dextran. It is a white, hygroscopic powder, freely soluble in water and salt solutions. Under the right conditions, DEAE-Dextran can be sterilized by autoclaving or by sterile filtration. DEAE-Dextran maintains its quality and efficacy for more than 3 years when stored at room temperature in air-tight packaging. DEAE-Dextran is supplied as the hydrochloride.

Chemical characeristics of DEAE Dextran:

​DEAE Dextran is prepared by reacting diethylaminoethyl chloride with dextran. The degree of substitution corresponds to approximately one DEAE-substituent per three glucose units, see Figure 1. The molecular weight of DEAE Dextran is decided of the molecular weight of the dextran going into the reaction. 

The molecular weight denotation of DEAE Dextran is the molecular weight in KDa divided by 1000. I.e. DEAE Dextran 40 is DEAE Dextran 40.000 KDa. Typical denotations are: 1,3,5,10,40,60,70,110,150, 250 and 500.

Well documented DEAE Dextran applications:

  • Adjuvant in vaccines
  • Agent for transfection
  • Stabilizer of proteins
  • Agent for reduction of cholesterol count
  • Enhancer of viral infectivity


Figure 1. DEAE Dextran shown as the hydrochloride



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