pdf_iconDye Exclusion and Other Physical Properties of Hen Egg White

Cameron, I1,*

1 University of Texas Health Science Center, Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, San Antonio, Texas 78229

* Correspondence: Tel.: (210) 567-3817; E-mail: cameron@uthscsa.edu;

Key Words: Egg white, albumen, solute exclusion, vital dye, methylene blue, gel-sol

Received 10 May 2010; revised 22 July; accepted 24 July. Published 19 August 2010; available online 19 August 2010

doi: 10.14294/WATER.2010.6



As reported here hen egg white can be sepa­rated by sieve filtration into thin and thick albumen fractions that remain as separate non-miscible fractions. Thick albumen but not thin albumen behaves as a gel and was found to have vital dye excluding properties. Thick albumen also demonstrates swelling and shrinking under osmotic conditions and the ability to transform from a dye ex­cluding gel to a non-dye excluding more fluid sol under the influence of pressure or agitation. Thick albumen gel that had been agitated to a sol state was observed to trans­form from the non-dye-excluding sol state back to a dye excluding gel state when al­lowed to rest without agitation. These find­ings may help explain vital dye exclusion by most but not all cells.

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