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Encyclopedia > Methylcellulose

Methylcellulose (or methyl cellulose) is a chemical compound derived from cellulose. It is a hydrophilic white powder in pure form and dissolves in cold (but not in hot) water, forming a clear viscous solution or gel. It is sold under a variety of trade names and is used as a thickener and emulsifier in various food and cosmetic products, and also as a treatment of constipation. Like cellulose, it is not digestible, not toxic, and not allergenic. A chemical compound is a chemical substance of two or more different chemically bonded chemical elements, with a fixed ratio determining the composition. ... Cellulose as polymer of β-D-glucose Cellulose in 3D Cellulose (C6H10O5)n is a polysaccharide of beta-glucose. ... Hydrophile, from the Greek (hydros) water and φιλια (philia) friendship, refers to a physical property of a molecule that can transiently bond with water (H2O) through hydrogen bonding. ... An emulsion is a mixture of two immiscible substances. ... Constipation or irregularity, is a condition of the digestive system where a person (or animal) experiences hard feces that are difficult to egest; it may be extremely painful, and in severe cases (fecal impaction) lead to symptoms of bowel obstruction. ... An allergen is any substance (antigen), most often eaten or inhaled, that is recognized by the immune system and causes an allergic reaction. ...

Contents

Chemistry

Chemically, methylcellulose is a methyl ether of cellulose, arising from substituting the hydrogen atoms of some of cellulose's hydroxyl groups -OH with methyl groups -CH3, forming -OCH3 groups. In chemistry a methyl-group is a hydrophobic Alkyl functional group which is derived from methane (CH4). ... This article is about a general class of chemical compounds. ... General Name, Symbol, Number hydrogen, H, 1 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 1, 1, s Appearance colorless Atomic mass 1. ... Hydroxide is a functional group consisting of oxygen and hydrogen: -O−H It has a charge of 1-. The term hydroxyl group is used when the functional group -OH is counted as a substituent of an organic compound. ... Methyl group In chemistry, a methyl group is a hydrophobic alkyl functional group derived from methane (CH4). ...


Different kinds of methylcellulose can be prepared depending on the number of hydroxyl groups so substituted. Cellulose is a polymer consisting of numerous linked glucose molecules, each of which exposes three hydroxyl groups. The Degree of Substitution (DS) of a given form of methylcellulose is defined as the average number of substituted hydroxyl groups per glucose. The theoretical maximum is thus a DS of 3.0, however more typical values are 1.3 - 2.6. A polymer (from Greek: πολυ, polu, many; and μέρος, meros, part) is a substance composed of molecules with large molecular mass composed of repeating structural units, or monomers, connected by covalent chemical bonds. ... Glucose (Glc), a monosaccharide (or simple sugar), is an important carbohydrate in biology. ...


Different methylcellulose preparations can also differ in the average length of their polymer backbones.


Methylcellulose does not occur naturally and is synthetically produced by heating cellulose with caustic solution (e.g. a solution of sodium hydroxide) and treating it with methyl chloride. Flash point Non-flammable. ... Chloromethane or Methyl chloride is a chemical compound once widely used as a refrigerant. ...


The CAS number of methylcellulose is 9004-67-5. CAS registry numbers are unique numerical identifiers for chemical compounds, polymers, biological sequences, mixtures and alloys. ...


Solubility and temperature

Methylcellulose dissolves in cold water. Higher DS-values result in lower solubility, because the polar hydroxyl groups are masked. The chemical is not soluble in hot water, which has the paradoxical effect that heating a saturated solution of methylcellulose will turn it solid, because methylcellulose will precipitate out. The temperature at which this occurs depends on DS-value, with higher DS-values giving lower precipitation temperatures. Solubility is a chemical property referring to the ability for a given substance, the solute, to dissolve in a solvent. ... A commonly-used example of a polar compound is water (H2O). ...


Preparing a solution of methylcellulose with cold water is difficult however: as the powder comes into contact with water, a gluey layer forms around it, and the inside remains dry. A better way is to first mix the powder with hot water, so that the methylcellulose particles are well dispersed in the water, and cool down this dispersion while stirring, leading to the dissolution of those particles. Dispersion can mean any of several things: A phenomenon that causes the separation of a wave into components of varying frequency. ...


Uses

Methylcellulose has an extremely wide range of uses, of which several are described below.


Scientifically Advanced Cookery

Methylcellulose, as a gel, has the unique property of setting when hot and melting when cold. This technique is currently being developed at the University of Nottingham, in co-ordination with leading culinary alchemist Heston Blumenthal. Blumenthal's wishes were to "make a warm 'ice cream' or 'ice lolly' on a stick, which the customer will have to eat before it cools down and melts.". In optical filters and theatrical lighting a color gel is a transparent or translucent colored panel used to change the color of transmitted light. ... In physics, melting is the process of heating a solid substance to a point (called the melting point) where it turns into a liquid. ... The University of Nottingham is a leading research and teaching university in the city of Nottingham, in the East Midlands of England. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with The Fat Duck. ...


Thickener and emulsifier

Methylcellulose is often added to hair shampoos, tooth pastes and liquid soaps, to generate their characteristic thick consistency. This it also done for foods, for example ice cream or whipped cream. Methylcellulose is also an important emulsifier, preventing the separation of two mixed liquids. Shampoo is a common hair care product used for the removal of oils, dirt, skin particles, dandruff, environmental pollutants and other contaminant particles that gradually build up in hair. ... Toothpaste is a paste used, almost always in conjunction with a toothbrush, to clean teeth. ... Missing image Ice cream is often served on a stick Boxes of ice cream are often found in stores in a display freezer. ... An emulsion is a mixture of two immiscible substances. ...


The E number of methylcellulose as food additive is E461. For the mathematical constant see: E (mathematical constant). ...


Treatment of constipation

When eaten, methylcellulose is not absorbed by the intestines but passes through the digestive tract undisturbed. It attracts large amounts of water into the colon, producing a softer and bulkier stool. It is used to treat constipation, diverticulosis, hemorrhoids and irritable bowel syndrome. It should be taken with sufficient amounts of fluid to prevent dehydration. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Large intestine. ... Constipation or irregularity, is a condition of the digestive system where a person (or animal) experiences hard feces that are difficult to egest; it may be extremely painful, and in severe cases (fecal impaction) lead to symptoms of bowel obstruction. ... Diverticulosis, otherwise known as diverticular disease, is the condition of having diverticula in the large colon which are outpocketings of the colonic mucosa and submucosa through weaknesses of muscle layers in the colon wall. ... Hemorrhoids (also haemorrhoids or piles) are varicosities or swelling and inflammation of veins in the rectum and anus. ... Dehydration (hypohydration) is the removal of water (hydro in ancient Greek) from an object. ...


Because it absorbs water and potentially toxic materials and increases viscosity, it can also be used to treat diarrhea. Types 5-7 on the Bristol Stool Chart are often associated with diarrhea Diarrhea (in American English) or diarrhoea (in British English) is a condition in which the sufferer has frequent watery, loose bowel movements (from the Greek word διάρροια; literally meaning through-flowing). Acute infectious diarrhea is a common cause...


A well-known trade name of methylcellulose when used as a drug is Citrucel by GlaxoSmithKline, but generic versions are also widely available. GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE: GSK NYSE: GSK) is a British based pharmaceutical, biological, and healthcare company. ... A generic drug (pl. ...


Lubricant

Methylcellulose is used as a variable viscosity personal lubricant; it is the main ingredient in K-Y Jelly. For other uses, see Viscosity (disambiguation). ... A tube of K-Y Jelly K-Y Jelly is a water-based, water-soluble personal lubricant produced by Johnson & Johnson. ...


Artificial tears and saliva

Solutions containing methylcellulose or similar cellulose derivatives (see below) are used as substitute for tears or saliva if the natural production of these fluids is disturbed. The tear system. ... Saliva is the watery and usually frothy substance produced in the mouths of humans and some animals. ...


Paper and textile sizing

Methylcellulose is used as sizing in the production of papers and textiles. It protects the fibers from absorbing water or oil. This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


Glue and binder

Methylcellulose can be employed as a mild glue which can be washed away with water. This is used for example in the fixation of delicate pieces of art. Look up glue in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Methylcellulose is the main ingredient in many wallpaper pastes. Mary Cassatts painting of two ladies drinking tea in a room with red-blue striped wallpapers. ...


It is also used as a binder in pastel crayons. Pastel is an art medium in the form of a stick, consisting of pure powdered pigment and a binder. ...


Methylcellulose is used in book conservation to loosen and clean off old glue from spines and bookboards.


Construction materials

Methylcellulose finds a major application in construction materials. It is added to mortar dry mixes to improve the mortar's properties such as water retention, viscosity, adhesion to surfaces etc. Mortar holding weathered bricks. ...


Cell culture/virology

Methylcellulose is also used in cell culture to study viral replication. Methylcellulose is dissolved in the same nutrient containing media that cells are normally grown in. A single layer of cells are grown on a flat surface, then infected with a virus for a short time. The strength of the viral sample used will determine how many cells get infected during this time. The thick methylcellulose media is then added on top of the cells in place of normal liquid media. As the viruses replicate in the infected cells they are able to spread between cells whose membrances touch each other, but are trapped when they enter the methylcellulose. Only cells closely neighboring an infected cell will become infected and die. This leaves small regions of dead cells called plaques in a larger background of living uninfected cells. The number of plaques formed is determined by the strength of the original sample. Epithelial cells in culture, stained for keratin (red) and DNA (green) Cell culture is the process by which either prokaryotic or eukaryotic cells are grown under controlled conditions. ... This article is about biological infectious particles. ... A monolayer is a single, closely packed layer of atoms or molecules [1]. A Langmuir monolayer is a one-molecule thick insoluble layer of an organic material spread onto an aqueous subphase. ... A viral plaque is a visible structure formed within a cell culture, such as bacterial cultures within some nutrient medium (e. ...


Special effects

The slimy, gooey appearance of an appropriate preparation of methylcellulose with water, in addition to its non-toxic, non-allergenic, and edible properties, makes it popular for use in special effects for motion pictures and television wherever vile slimes must be simulated. In the film Ghostbusters, for example, the gooey substance that supernatural entities used to “slime” the Ghostbusters was mostly a thick water solution of methylcellulose. For other uses see film (disambiguation) Film refers to the celluliod media on which movies are printed Film — also called movies, the cinema, the silver screen, moving pictures, photoplays, picture shows, flicks, or motion pictures, — is a field that encompasses motion pictures as an art form or as... For other uses, see Ghostbusters (disambiguation). ...


Related compounds

Similar compounds derived from cellulose include carboxymethyl cellulose and hydroxypropyl cellulose. See: Category:Cellulose. Carboxymethyl cellulose, or CMC, is a cellulose derivative with carboxymethyl groups (-CH2-COOH) bound to some of the hydroxyl groups of the glucopyranose monomers that make up the cellulose backbone. ... Hydroxypropyl cellulose (cellulose, 2-hydroxypropyl ether) is a derivative of cellulose with both water solubility and organic solubility. ...


References

  • Cathleen Baker (1982). Methylcellulose & Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose: Uses in Paper Conservation. The Book and Paper Group Annual, Vol 1, 1982

  Results from FactBites:
 
Methylcellulose - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1013 words)
Methylcellulose (or methyl cellulose) is a chemical compound derived from cellulose.
Methylcellulose is often added to hair shampoos, tooth pastes and liquid soaps, to generate their characteristic thick consistency.
Methylcellulose is often used in the pornographic industry to simulate semen in large quantity, in order to shoot movies related to bukkake fetish.
Enteroclysis: What Is It & Why Do We Do It? (6245 words)
Methylcellulose is a form of polysacharide cellulose that has been treated to make it soluble in water.
Methylcellulose should be infused at a rate of 70 to 120 ccs per minute; with 1,500 to 2,000 ccs used on average for a good double contrast study.
Methylcellulose is used because it: propels the barium, distends he lumen straightening the circular folds and distending each segment, preserves an interface between the dense barium coating the mucosa and the water density of the distended lumen, allows studying of the intestinal surface details, and promotes evacuation of the barium.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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