Production of dextran and dextran derivatives​


PKC A/S has  established its own production unit for dextran manufacturing where we produce dextran in various molecular weights. Through staff skilled in the art of cracking and fractionation, PKC A/S is able to deliver dextrans displaying a very narrow molecular weight distribution. Our state-of-art analytical equipment and QC personnel provides the needed documentation according to various quality standards.

Physical characteristics of Dextran:

Dextran is a polysaccharide. The main chain of typical polysaccharides (e.g cellulose) is formed by 1α→4 glycosidic linkages, whereas the main chain of dextran is formed by 1α→6 glycosidic linkages. The side branches are attached by 1α→3 or 1α→4 linkages. See Figure 1. The 1α→6 glycosidic linkage is formed between a primary hydroxy group and a secondary hydroxy group, whereas the 1α→4 glycosidic linkage  is formed by two secondary hydroxy groups. The much higher flexibility of the primary hydroxygroup is responsible for the high degree of flexibility of the dextran back bone as compared to e.g cellulose. The flexibility of dextran is responsible for the majority of the highly desired properties of dextran.

​Dextran is a non-ionic polysaccharide,appearing as a white powder. Dextran is freely soluble in water, methyl sulphoxide, formamide, ethylene glycol, glycerol, 4-methylmorpholine-4-oxide and hexamethylphosphoramide. Some dextran fractions may adopt a certain degree of crystallinity and may only be brought into solution by strong heating. Dextran forms a stable and clear solution. The high purity and reproducible quality commend Dextran for many applications in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and cosmetic industry.

Chemical characeristics of Dextran:

​Dextran is prepared by fermentation, harvest and purification followed by cracking and separation to obtain the desired molecular weight. PKC A/S runs the entire process right from the start to the final product, which is your security for a high quality dextran product. 

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

Dextran applications:

  • ​Blood Volume Expander
  • Organ Preservation
  • Thrombosis prophylaxis
  • Rheological improvement
  • Vaccine Adjuvant
  • Eye care
  • Protetin stabilization
  • Cryopreservation
  • Lyophilization
  • Blood Cell Separation
  • Cosmetics
  • Rheology ajustment


Figure 1. Structure of dextran, showing 1α→6 glycosidic back-bone linkages and 1α→6 glycosidic side-chain linkages.



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