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“Hydrodynamic probes vary in their degree of sophistication and capability, although between them they provide a complementary set of tools for the assessment of polymer stability. This is particularly relevant for large carbohydrate polymer assemblies, whether it be resistance to chain scission or resistance against aggregative phenomena. We highlight some of the information obtainable from the modern implementation of the well-established methods of viscometry, analytical ultracentrifugation and light scattering, some limitations and the virtue of using these methods in combination. The types of information that can be reasonably expected are (i) heterogeneity information; (ii) molecular weight (molar mass) averages and distributions; (iii) the extent and reversibility of aggregation and degradative phenomena; (iv) conformation and conformational flexibility”.

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