, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 293–304 | Cite as

Thermal Aggregation of Methyl Cellulose in Aqueous Solution: A Thermodynamic Study and Protein Partitioning Behaviour

  • Dario Spelzini
  • Ruben Rigatusso
  • Beatriz Farruggia
  • Guillermo Picó


The formation of a biphasic system from aqueous solutions of methyl cellulose induced by temperature was studied through heating curves of the polymer solution measured by absorbance spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and solution viscosimetry. The treatment of the heating curve data according to a reversible two-state transition model allows us to calculate the middle point temperature (Tm) of the formation of the two phases and the thermodynamic functions associated to the polymer aggregation. The middle point temperature was found within the range 50–70 °C. It decreased significantly in a Na2SO4 0.3 M medium when the polymer concentration increased. The heat associated to the two-phase formation was positive and it increased with increases in temperature. Cosolutes that affect the water structure induced changes in the Tm values, which suggests the presence of a hydrophobic effect in the two-phase formation from the polymer solution. Hydrophilic proteins were partitioned in favour of the methyl cellulose rich phase according to their surface hydrophobicity. The partition was also influenced by the presence of salts that modify the protein hydrophobicity such as sodium sulphate.


Methyl cellulose Partitioning Temperature Two phases 



1-aniline-8-naphthalene sulfonate


Bovine serum albumin


guanidine chloride




methyl cellulose


average molecular weight






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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dario Spelzini
    • 1
  • Ruben Rigatusso
    • 1
  • Beatriz Farruggia
    • 1
  • Guillermo Picó
    • 1
  1. 1.Physical Chemistry Department. Faculty of Biochemical and Pharmaceutical SciencesNational University of Rosario, FonCyT, CIUNR and CONICETRosarioArgentina

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