, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 2093-2104
Date: 12 Sep 2012

Structural characterisation of thiol-modified hyaluronans

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Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and non-isothermal methods—chemiluminometry, differential scanning calorimetry, and differential thermogravimetry—were used to characterize potential structural changes of thiol-modified hyaluronans. Degradative conditions tested via rotational viscometry were first initiated applying oxidative Weissberger’s system in a reaction system under aerobic conditions. Several low-molecular-weight thiol compounds—cysteamine, l-cysteine, and N-acetyl-l-cysteine—were subsequently tested for their potential antioxidative effects against hyaluronan degradation. It was shown that different final values of dynamic viscosity of hyaluronan solutions were dependent on the thiol structure and its initial concentration. An idea has been put forward that together with the reduction of the hyaluronan molecular weight, which is a consequence of fragmentation, the degradation products might contain associated or even cross-linked structures. In the case of N-acetyl-l-cysteine application, the carbonaceous residue evidenced by differential thermogravimetry was increased when compared to that of intact hyaluronan.