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J Phys Chem B. 2009 Jun 25;113(25):8505-13. doi: 10.1021/jp902641d.

Physicochemistry of the interaction between inulin and alkyltrimethylammonium bromides in aqueous medium and the formed coacervates.

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  • 1Center for Surface Science, Department of Chemistry, Jadavpur University, Kolkata 700032, India.


Inulin, a polydisperse reserve polysaccharide, has prospective uses in food, pharmacy, and industry. Its uses and applications often encounter interactions with lipids and amphiphiles. Reports on such interactions are scarcely found in literature. In the present study, we have examined the nature of interactions between inulin and cationic amphiphiles, alkyltrimethylammonium bromides (CnTAB: n=12, 14, 16, 18), over a fair range of concentrations for both the polymer and the amphiphile. At low concentration, small induced amphiphile aggregates form complexes with inulin; at moderate concentration, the complexed inulin self-aggregates leading to coacervate formation, and at higher concentration, the amphiphile forms free micelles in solution. Tensiometric, conductometric, viscometric, and turbidimetric methods have been employed to study the above phenomena. The isolated coacervates of inulin with C18TAB were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetry (TG), and differential thermal analysis (DTA) to ascertain their morphology, structure, and thermal stability.

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