Definition of dextran in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdekˌstran/ Pronunciation: /-strən/


1A carbohydrate gum formed by the fermentation of sugars and consisting of polymers of glucose.
Example sentences
  • Among them, the most effective in preserving a more native-like structure are the disaccharides sucrose and trehalose in dry films and the polymer dextran in wet films.
  • In one set of experiments, they loaded the sugar dextran, the anticoagulant heparin, or a growth hormone into reservoirs on separate chips.
  • The particles are crafted from the polymer dextran, a sugar-binding protein, and insulin.
1.1 Medicine A solution containing a hydrolyzed form of this, used as a substitute for blood plasma.
Example sentences
  • High molecular weight dextran expands the plasma volume by an amount equal to 80% to 120% of the volume infused and the plasma volume is increased for up to 6 hours after infusion.
  • A new preservation solution, which combines a low potassium concentration and dextran, has also been developed specifically for the lungs.
  • Larger scale studies may be needed if important clinical differences between colloids and crystalloids are to be found (including the possibility that dextran may worsen bleeding complications).


Late 19th century: from dextro- + -an.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dex·tran

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