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Polymer Characterization

Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) that separates analytes on the basis of size, typically in organic solvents. The technique is often used for the analysis of polymers.



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The molecular weight of synthetic and natural polymers is a direct indicator of product performance and activity.

Understanding molecular weight determination, absolute molecular weight measurement, and other molecular parameters are key to controlling product performance in a wide variety of applications areas including:

  • Strength, durability, and toughness of plastics and other synthetic polymers.
  • Degradation and release rate of drug delivery polymers.
  • Performance and mouth-feel of polysaccharides in foods e.g. maltodextrin and other starch derivatives.
  • Strength and quality of fillers and lubricants in pharmaceuticals and cosmaceuticals


Gel permeation chromatography is conducted almost exclusively in chromatography columns. The experimental design is not much different from other techniques of liquid chromatography. Samples are dissolved in an appropriate solvent, in the case of GPC these tend to be organic solvents and after filtering the solution it is injected onto a column. Often multiple detectors are used to gain additional information about the polymer sample.

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