Letter | Published:

Ionic Exchange and Fibre Contraction

Nature volume 159, page 746 (31 May 1947) | Download Citation



A 0.2N aqueous solution of sodium alginate (molecular weight ˜ 105) was extruded into 1N hydrochloric acid, thus producing alginic acid fibres, which were converted into calcium alginate by immersion in M/10 calcium acetate. The well-washed calcium alginate threads, fully swollen with water, contained 0.37 × 10-3gm.-equiv. calcium per gm., the ratio of equivalent calcium to equivalent water-insoluble acid was 1.0, and the dry weight was about 8 percent. These fibres were opaque ; slightly elastic, birefringent and capable of heterogeneous cation exchange reactions in which a replacement of the calcium by other cations takes place.

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  1. Biophysics Research Unit, University College, London, W.C.1. March 25.

    • J. L. MONGAR
    •  & A. WASSERMANN


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