Definition of dextran in US English:



  • 1A carbohydrate gum formed by the fermentation of sugars and consisting of polymers of glucose.

    • ‘The particles are crafted from the polymer dextran, a sugar-binding protein, and insulin.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This assay used DEAE dextran to stabilize polymers, which were then collected by filtration through a nylon membrane.’
    • ‘Fructans appear to be special in their membrane protective action, since other polymers such as dextran and HES failed to protect the membrane barrier function during freeze-drying, whereas chicory inulin was able to retain CF.’
    1. 1.1Medicine A solution containing a hydrolyzed form of dextran, used as a substitute for blood plasma.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After the subjects were detrained, they were infused with a dextran solution to expand their blood volume until it exceeded their trained level.’
      • ‘The viscosity of the dextran solution chosen for the go-and-stop experiment allowed testing most red cells of the population.’
      • ‘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.