Dextran is a polymer of anhydroglucose. It is composed of approximately 95% alpha-D-(166) linkages. The remaining (163) linkages account for the branching of dextran. Dextran sulfate has many applications and when performing nucleic acid hybridizations, may be used as an accelerant to decrease the time required for probe annealing. Dextran sulfate may be included in the hybridization buffer when the rate of hybridization is a limiting factor in detecting rare sequences or it may be included in the hybridization buffer when a limited amount of probe is available. Dextran sulfate functions as an accelerant by excluding the nucleic acid from the volume of solution occupied by the polymer, thereby, increasing the effective probe concentration. CAS Number: 9011-18-1
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