Influence of polyeclectrolyte concentration and metallic ions on viscosity of soft colloidal polysaccharides
- Jean-Pierre S. Sagou, Simplice Kouassi, Jonas Y.Y. Andji
The electrostatic, hydrodynamic, and swelling properties of a well-defined, functionalized carboxymethyldextran (CMD) polysaccharide are investigated in aqueous NaNO3 solution over a broad ionic strength range. The impact of the polycarboxylate charge and molar mass of the CMD macromolecules on their electrohydrodynamic features is thoroughly examined by combined protolytic titration, dynamic light scattering, and electrokinetic analyses. Electrophoretic mobility data obtained for sufficiently high electrolyte concentrations reveal a typical soft particle behavior. Upon decrease of the ionic strength, mobilities strongly increase in magnitude while significant electrostatic swelling takes place, as reflected in a decrease in the diffusion coefficients. CMD entities undergo conformational transitions from compact random coil at large ionic strengths to swollen coil and possibly a wormlike structure at lower NaNO3 concentrations. The magnitude of the variations in size and mobility with electrolyte concentration strongly depends on the overall charge of the CMD entity as well as on its molar mass. These factors control the stiffness of the constituent polymer chains and thus the degree of macromolecular permeability ("softness"). Using the soft-diffuse interface formalism previously developed for the electrohydrodynamics of charged permeable macromolecules, a quantitative analysis of the electrophoretic mobility data is presented. The measured values of the diffusion coefficient and space charge density Gamma degrees, as evaluated independently from the modeling of potentiometric titration curves, are taken into account in a self-consistent manner. It is found that large CMD entities of low charge densities are the most permeable to flow penetration with a limited heterogeneous electrostatic stiffening of the chains, whereas small CMD entities of larger Gamma degrees significantly expand upon lowering the ionic strength, giving rise to a strong anisotropy for the spatial distribution of polymer chain density.