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Poly-L-lysine hydrobromide

mol wt 15,000-30,000 by viscosity

CAS Number:
MDL number:
PubChem Substance ID:



Quality Level

mol wt

15,000-30,000 by viscosity


white to off-white


cell analysis

storage temp.


SMILES string




InChI key


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25, 100, 500 mg in poly bottle
1 g in poly bottle


Poly-L-lysine polymers can be used in promoting cell adhesion to solid substrates, conjugation to methotrexate for increased drug transport, microencapsulation of islets, cell microencapsulation technology, microarray glass slide coating, and chromosomal preparations. Lower molecular weight poly-L-lysine (30,000-70,000) is less viscuous in solution, but higher molecular weight versions provide more attachment sites per molecule.

Biochem/physiol Actions

Poly-L-lysine is a nonspecific attachment factor for cells useful in promoting cell adhesion to solid substrates by enhancing electrostatic interaction between negatively charged ions of the cell membrane and the culture surface. When it is absorbed to the cell culture surface, poly-L-lysine functions to increase the number of positively charged sites available for cell binding. With cells that can digest poly-L-lysine, poly-D-lysine should be used as the attachment factor.


Poly-L-lysine is a positively charged amino acid polymer with approximately one HBr per lysine residue. The hydrobromide allows the poly-L-lysine to be in a crystalline form soluble in water. A small amount of product may be found in the beta structure because the HBr interferes with hydrogen bonding between amino and either the carboxyl groups or N or O containing moieties.


Sterile solutions are stable for up to 2 years when stored at 2-8°C. It should be stored desiccated at -20°C.

Preparation Note

This product has a molecular weight of 15,000-30,000. To remove the HBr, dissolve this product in a neutral buffer and dialyze to remove the salts. None of the poly-L-lysine products have been exposed to trifluoroacetic acid and are dialyzed to remove any monomers, dimmers, or trimers, confirmed by thin layer chromatography. In general, to use this product as an attachment factor, add 50 mL of sterile tissue culture grade water to 5 mg of poly-lysine, and aseptically coat the surface with 1 mL per 25 cm2 of solution. After 5 minutes, remove the solution through aspiration and thoroughly rinse the surface. Let dry for two hours before introducing cells and medium.

Analysis Note

Molecular weight based on viscosity and was also assayed by MALLS.

Storage Class Code

11 - Combustible Solids



Flash Point(F)

Not applicable

Flash Point(C)

Not applicable

Personal Protective Equipment

dust mask type N95 (US), Eyeshields, Gloves

Certificate of Analysis

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Certificate of Origin

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Rui R Costa et al.
Acta biomaterialia, 87, 108-117 (2019-01-22)
We describe biomimetic adhesives inspired by the marine glues fabricated by the sandcastle worm. The formation of stable polyelectrolyte complexes between poly-L-lysine (PLL) and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) with different sulfation degree - heparin (HEP), chondroitin sulfate (CS) and hyaluronic acid (HA)
Peng Zhang et al.
Cell biology international, 42(8), 1041-1049 (2018-04-27)
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