The dynamics of rigid dendrimer and flexible PEG probes in sodium caseinate dispersions and acid gels, including both translational diffusion and rotational diffusion, were studied by NMR. Above the onset of the close-packing limit (C ~ 10 g/100 g H2O), translational diffusion of the probe depended on its flexibility and on the fluctuations of the matrix chains. The PEG probe diffused more rapidly than the spherical dendrimer probe of corresponding hydrodynamic radius. The greater conformational flexibility of PEG facilitated its motion through the crowded casein matrix. Rotational diffusion was, however, substantially less hindered than the translational diffusion and depended on the local protein–probe friction which became high when the casein concentration increased. The coagulation of the matrix led to the formation of large voids, which resulted in an increase in the translational diffusion of the probes, whereas the rotational diffusion of the probes was retarded in the gel, which could be attributed to the immobilized environment surrounding the probe. Quantitative information from PFG-NMR and SEM micrographs have been combined for characterizing microstructural details in SC acid gels.
- hydrodynamic transport-properties
- polystyrene latex spheres
- aqueous polymer-solutions