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Carbohydr Res. 2001 Aug 30;334(3):233-41.

Infrared spectroscopic study on the properties of the anhydrous form II of trehalose. Implications for the functional mechanism of trehalose as a biostabilizer.

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Spectroscopic Instruments Division, JASCO Corporation, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-8537, Japan.


FTIR spectra were obtained for several different states of trehalose including dihydrate crystal, anhydrous form II (designated by Gil, A. M.; Belton, P. S.; Felix V. Spectrochim. Acta 1996, A52, 1649-1659), anhydrate crystal, dried melt, amorphous solid and aqueous solution. From the observation of the symmetric and antisymmetric stretch vibrations of the glycosidic linkage, it is found that this sugar assumes at least three types of backbone conformations. Among them, the conformation with C(2) symmetry is characterized as 'open state', which means that the sugar easily absorbs water molecules. The conformation of the sugars in anhydrous form II and in freeze-dried trehalose is shown to be in the open state. Next, the hygroscopic properties of the anhydrate, form II and the amorphous solid are compared based on their IR spectra. Interestingly, form II alone is converted to the original dihydrate in a week under mild environmental-like conditions: relative humidity of 40% and room temperature. These results suggest the possibility that form II plays a role in avoiding the devitrification of the sugar glass. Finally, we discuss the role of form II in preserving freeze-dried biomaterials.

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