One way to distinguish between water soluble
polymers of different densities is to place them
on a test tube that contains a discontinuous
sucrose density gradient which is prepared by
layering successive decreasing sucrose density
solutions upon one another. The polymer sample is
then placed at the top of the tube and
centrifuged. Each polymer will go to the sucrose layer that best matches its density.
In principle a similar method could be applied to polymers that are non water soluble by using a gradient of organic solventsAnother method for separation of water soluble charged polymers by their molecular weight is gel electrophoresis.
Here a mixture of polymers is placed on a gel and an electric current is applied. Low molecular weight move faster through the gel than high molecular weight polymers.
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