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Food Polyelectrolytes Compress the Colonic Mucus Hydrogel by a Donnan Mechanism.

Biomacromolecules (2019-06-28)
Asher Preska Steinberg, Zhen-Gang Wang, Rustem F Ismagilov
ABSTRACT

Systems consisting of a polyelectrolyte solution in contact with a cross-linked polyelectrolyte network are ubiquitous (e.g., biofilms, drug-delivering hydrogels, and mammalian extracellular matrices), yet the underlying physics governing these interactions is not well understood. Here, we find that carboxymethyl cellulose, a polyelectrolyte commonly found in processed foods and associated with inflammation and obesity, compresses the colonic mucus hydrogel (a key regulator of host-microbe interactions and a protective barrier) in mice. The extent of this polyelectrolyte-induced compression is enhanced by the degree of polymer negative charge. Through animal experiments and numerical calculations, we find that this phenomenon can be described by a Donnan mechanism. Further, the observed behavior can be quantitatively described by a simple, one-parameter model. This work suggests that polymer charge should be considered when developing food products because of its potential role in modulating the protective properties of colonic mucus.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Polysorbate 80, FG
Sigma-Aldrich
Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, average Mw ~250,000, degree of substitution 0.7
Sigma-Aldrich
Carboxymethylcellulose sodium, meets USP testing specifications, Medium viscosity
Sigma-Aldrich
Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, average Mw ~250,000, degree of substitution 0.9
Sigma-Aldrich
Sucrose, meets USP testing specifications
Sigma-Aldrich
2-Hydroxyethyl cellulose, average Mw ~380,000