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Hydroxyethyl starch

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biological source




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General description

Hydroxyethyl starch is a non-ionic starch derivative. It is categorized based on its in vitro molecular weight. A 6% concentration is commonly preferred with 130 kD and 0.38 to 0.45 of molecular weight and molar substitution ratios respectively. Degree of substitution; Average of 1 -OH group per 10 glucose units converted to -OCH2CH2OH.


Hydroxyethyl starch has been used to study its shear response. It has also been used as a macromolecular compound in the medium for sperm isolation, culture and cryopreservation.


250 g in poly bottle
1 kg in poly bottle

Biochem/physiol Actions

Hydroxyethyl starch (HES) is a colloid used for medicinal practices that involve fluid replacement. It acts as a plasma substitute. Acute kidney failure risk is increased by the use of HES in patients with severe sepsis.


The similar Hetastarch (q.v.) is substituted to the extent of 7-8 groups per 10 glucose units.

Preparation Note

Prepared from corn starch

Certificate of Analysis

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Certificate of Origin

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Quotes and Ordering

  1. Which document(s) contains shelf-life or expiration date information for a given product?

    If available for a given product, the recommended re-test date or the expiration date can be found on the Certificate of Analysis.

  2. How do I get lot-specific information or a Certificate of Analysis?

    The lot specific COA document can be found by entering the lot number above under the "Documents" section.

  3. What is the molecular weight of Hydroxyethyl starch, Product H6382?

    Product No. H6382 is not assayed for molecular weight. But based on the starch starting material, it is assumed to be greater than 1 million.

  4. Is Hydroxyethyl starch, Product H6382, soluble in water?

    Solubility in water has been reported as less than 20 mg/mL.  A 100 mg/mL preparation in water forms an opalescent suspension.

  5. Is Hydroxyethyl starch, Product H6382, the same as Hetastarch?

    No.  Hetastarch is more highly ethoxylated and partially hydrolyzed, making it much more soluble in water.  6% solutions of hetastarch in water or buffer are used as plasma volume extenders.

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  7. What is the Department of Transportation shipping information for this product?

    Transportation information can be found in Section 14 of the product's (M)SDS.To access the shipping information for this material, use the link on the product detail page for the product. 

  8. My question is not addressed here, how can I contact Technical Service for assistance?

    Ask a Scientist here.

A preliminary search for alternatives to albumin as a medium supplement for the culture of human sperm
Matson P and Tardif S
Reproductive Biology, 12(3), 329-331 (2012)
Hydroxyethyl starch 130/0.42 versus Ringer's acetate in severe sepsis
Perner A, et al.
The New England Journal of Medicine, 367(2), 124-134 (2012)
Shear-thickening fluids in biologically relevant agents
Kilbride P, et al.
Biorheology, 25(Preprint), 1-12 (2019)
Hydroxyethyl starch or saline for fluid resuscitation in intensive care
Myburgh JA
The New England Journal of Medicine, 367(20), 1901-1911 (2012)
An international view of hydroxyethyl starches
Treib J, et al.
Intensive Care Medicine, 25(3), 258-268 (1999)

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