Merck

Carbohydrates for Research

Image of Laboratory equipment used in biochemical research of carbohydrates including monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides.

Carbohydrates play a vital role in the biochemistry of living organisms, serving as key nutrients and primary energy sources. Also known as saccharides, carbohydrates can be classified into four groups based on their structure and size:

  • Monosaccharides, such as glucose, fructose and fucose, are single sugar molecules.
  • Disaccharides, like lactose and sucrose, are formed by linking two monosaccharides.
  • Oligosaccharides, consisting of 3-9 monosaccharides, are important components of cell membranes and play a crucial role in cell signaling.
  • Polysaccharides, made up of more than 9 monosaccharides, include starch, dextran, and cellulose, which serve as energy reserves in plants and animals.
  • Lipopolysaccharides are polysaccharides predominantly found in gram-negative bacteria. They are typically used for immune response research, drug/vaccine development, sepsis modeling & metabolic, autoimmune, and cancer therapy.

We offer a wide range of high-quality carbohydrates for metabolomics, glycobiology/glycomics, microbiome, and nutrition research. Whether you are studying the biochemistry of diseases, developing new drugs, exploring the mechanisms of immune responses, or conducting any other research that requires reliable and pure carbohydrates, our products are the perfect choice to support your research needs.



Carbohydrates in Cell Culture

Carbohydrates play a vital role in providing energy to cells, making them an essential component of cell culture media. Glucose and galactose are the most commonly used sugars in cell culture media, but maltose and fructose can also provide energy. Pyruvate is another important source of energy included in some media formulations. Further, our products are widely used as supplements in cell culture media and are essential building blocks for the synthesis of glycans and glycoconjugates.

Carbohydrates in Glycobiology

Glycobiologists use carbohydrates to study cell recognition, signaling, and energy storage. Carbohydrates are also utilized to analyze glycoproteins, which play important roles in many biological systems. By using carbohydrates in their research, scientists can gain insights into the complex world of glycobiology and contribute to the advancement of medical science.

Carbohydrates in Metabolomics

Metabolomics investigates the small molecules generated by metabolic processes, including carbohydrates. Studying carbohydrates using techniques such as LC-MS and NMR can provide insight into disruptions in carbohydrate metabolism in diseases like diabetes, hypoglycemia, and metabolic syndrome. Understanding this can aid in developing new therapies for related conditions.

Carbohydrates in Microbiome Research

Carbohydrates are essential for gut microbiota, which play a vital role in various biological processes. Microbiome researchers use metagenomics and metatranscriptomics techniques to study carbohydrate metabolism, revealing how diet affects the microbiome's composition and its impact on human health. Prebiotics, derived from carbohydrates, promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and are crucial for a healthy gut.

Carbohydrates in Nutrition Research

Carbohydrates serve as the main source of fuel for both the brain and muscles and are also integral to various other vital biological processes, such as cell signaling and immune function. Nutrition research investigates the impact of carbohydrates on health outcomes such as body weight and diabetes risk. Studies examine simple and complex carbs, daily intake recommendations, glycemic index and create interventions for a variety of health conditions.


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  • Article: Lipopolysaccharides

    Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is the major component of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. Lipopolysaccharide is localized in the outer layer of the membrane and is, in noncapsulated strains, exposed on the cell surface.

  • Article: Dextran and Related Polysaccharides

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