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Biomacromolecules. 2007 May;8(5):1580-6. Epub 2007 Apr 3.

Rheology of gastric mucin exhibits a pH-dependent sol-gel transition.

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Department of Physics, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


Gastric mucin, a high molecular weight glycoprotein, is responsible for providing the gel-forming properties and protective function of the gastric mucus layer. Bulk rheology measurements in the linear viscoelastic regime show that gastric mucin undergoes a pH-dependent sol-gel transition from a viscoelastic solution at neutral pH to a soft viscoelastic gel in acidic conditions, with the transition occurring near pH 4. In addition to pH-dependent gelation behavior in this system, further rheological studies under nonlinear deformations reveal shear thinning and an apparent yield stress in this material which are also highly influenced by pH.

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