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Intrinsic Viscosity: Important for Protein Formulations

July 7, 2015

By definition, intrinsic viscosity is “a measure of a solute’s contribution to the viscosity of a solution”, or more specifically an increase in viscosity as a result of adding an infinitesimal amount of solute to a solvent. Intrinsic viscosity is an important tool in the fields of polymer and protein research. Intrinsic viscosity allows for determination of molecular weight and size more reliably than the traditional method for determining these characteristics - dynamic light scattering.

To determine the intrinsic viscosity, you must measure the viscosity of your solution at different concentrations and then apply the Huggins and Kraemer equation. The intrinsic viscosity is a reliable and sensitive indicator of a solute’s molecular interaction with a solvent, and can be used to determine the molecular properties of a sample, such as:

  • Molecular weight and size
  • Polymerization
  • Interaction of molecules
  • Degradation
  • Branching structure
  • Stability of molecules: aggregation, denaturation, or conformational changes of protein molecules
  • Protein structure and melting temperatures

blog.rheosense.comhubfsApplication_NotesIntrinsic_ViscosityIntrinsic_Viscosity_2Industries Where Intrinsic Viscosity is Important:

  • Polymers/Coatings (R&D, QC)
  • Protein Formulation
  • Research Institutions 
  • Food Polymers (Hydrodynamic Volume of Biopolymers) 

The m-VROC® small sample viscometer is an ideal tool to measure intrinsic viscosity of samples. The high accuracy, low sample volume requirements, and high speed of measurement ensure that data collection is fast, simple, and accurate. Advantages  of using the m-VROC over conventional viscometers including:

  • Smallest Sample Volume
  • Temperature Control: 4 - 70ºC
  • Superior Accuracy (2% of Reading) and Repeatability (0.5% of Reading)
  • No Air-Liquid Interface (No Evaporation or Contamination)
  • Wide Dynamic Range:
    • Viscosity: 0.2- 200,000 [cP]
    • Shear Rate: 0.5 - 1,400,000 [1/s]

To learn more about how you can use our m-VROC to measure intrinsic viscosity, download our application note "Intrinsic Viscosity with Repeatable, Small Sample Viscometer, m-VROC"
View Application Note

Want to learn more about calculating intrinsic viscosity and how to apply it to your molecular characterizations? Download our recorded webinar: "Intrinsic Viscosity — A Tool to Determine Molecular Size & Structure Through Viscosity Measurements" This webinar presents analytical and experimental procedures necessary to establish intrinsic viscosity. We also present a number of examples on how this property can be useful for various polymer and biopolymer applications. 


Learn More About Intrinsic Viscosity 

View our application library to learn more about how to accurately measure and apply intrinsic viscosity measurements 

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