Biopolymer Induced Changes in Mucus Viscoelasticity
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The occurrence of macromolecules, other than glycoproteins, in the sputum of patients suffering from chronic obstructive airways disease is well documented (Ziment, 1978). The difficulties associated with the collection of ‘normal’ tracheobronchial mucus from healthy individuals renders it difficult to determine the effect that the contaminants which appear during disease exert. For example Creeth et al (1977) have demonstrated that it is impossible to remove free protein by isopynic ultracentrifugation in CsBr and a further separation in CsCl is necessary. This may suggest that a certain amount of free protein is associated with the glycoprotein even in the normal tracheobronchial tree. The transudation of serum proteins during infection together with the extracellular and breakdown products of bacteria are usually considered to be associated with an increase in the consistency of the sputum produced. However, conflicting reports have been published concerning the effect of DNA on the rheological properties of sputum (Puchelle et al, 1973; Bornstein et al, 1978). Therefore, it does appear important to establish the contribution of other constituents of sputum to the viscoelasticity; in this work we have used a mucus gel purified from human sputum for this purpose (Marriott et al, 1979).
KeywordsFree Protein Ciliated Epithelium Cervical Mucus Chronic Obstructive Airway Disease Dipalmitoyl Lecithin
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