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High molecular weight sucrose-polymers formed by copolymerization of sucrose with epichlorohydrin. The molecules are highly branched and the high content of hydroxyl groups leads to very good solubility in aqueous media.
- For producing density gradients for separation of cells and subcellular components by centrifugation or by sedimentation at unit gravity.
- Neutral, highly branched, hydrophilic polymer of sucrose which dissolves readily in aqueous solution.
- Concentrations of up to 50% (w/v) covering densities of up to 1.2 g/ml can be achieved.
- Better osmotic properties than sucrose.
- Preserves functional and morphological integrity.
- Useful for separating cells that are sensitive to centrifugation and for separating cells of similar density but different size (under conditions of sedimentation at unit gravity).
- Does not penetrate biological membranes.
- Serves as the raw material for preparation of Ficoll-Paque gradients.
- Used in other applications such as electrophoresis, hybridization, cryopreservation, and as a hapten carrier.
Ficoll PM400 is a synthetic neutral, highly-branched hydrophilic polymer of sucrose with an average molecular weight of 400 000. It has long been used to form density gradients for separating and isolating eukaryotic cells, organelles and bacterial cells, as a stabilizing agent, and as a preparation medium for isolating mononuclear cells. Applications can also be found in defined culture media, nucleic acid hybridization, electrophoresis, and immunological studies.