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Applications of Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) with Different Molecular Weights in Various Industries

Time:2023-11-13 Hits:318
Seebio’s Polyethylene glycol (PEG, CAS:25322-68-3) is used in drug delivery, controlled release of drugs, cell culture, tissue engineering, surface functionalization, and various biological research fields. PEG materials with a molecular weight less than 20,000 g/mol are generally referred to as PEGs. When PEG is conjugated to the surface of drug molecules, it offers significant advantages, such as altering drug solubility, forming a spatial barrier to reduce enzymatic degradation, reducing toxicity, lowering immunogenicity, extending half-life, and changing tissue distribution, making it a mainstream solution for drug prolongation.
The properties of PEG vary with increasing polymerization degree. Commonly used PEGs include PEG 200 to PEG 8000. Among them, PEGs with molecular weights in the range of 200 to 600 are liquid at room temperature, while as the molecular weight increases, they transition from a colorless, viscous paste to a semi-solid, waxy solid, and further to a flake or powdered solid. They are categorized based on differences in purity into pharmaceutical-grade, cosmetic-grade, food-grade, and industrial-grade series, commonly used in pharmaceuticals, food, and cosmetic formulations.
Applications of Different Molecular Weight PEGs in Various Industries:
PEG 200 can serve as a water-soluble carrier for porogens in insoluble film coatings and is used as a moisturizer, inorganic salt solubilizer, and viscosity regulator in the daily chemical industry. It can improve skin feel, reduce damage from free radicals, and create a protective barrier on the skin surface to prevent moisture evaporation. Additionally, it can reduce or prevent oxidative damage to the skin.
PEG 400 is commonly used for making soft gelatin capsules. Because it is a liquid and compatible with various solvents, it is widely used as a solvent and solubilizer in liquid formulations like oral solutions and eye drops. It can also be used to formulate oil-in-water emulsions and ointments, helping maintain water concentration, enhance viscosity stability, and product stability in toothpaste formulations without carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC).
PEG 200-PEG 600 can enhance the solubility of poorly soluble drugs and maintain the stability of unstable drugs in aqueous solutions, making them suitable for use as injection solvents. PEG 400, PEG 600, and PEG 800 are used as matrices in pharmaceutical and cosmetic formulations. PEG 600 can be added to electrolytes in metal processing to enhance the luster of metal surfaces. Additionally, PEG 400-PEG 1000 are commonly used as catalysts in reactions involving various metal salts. The chain-like structure of PEG can fold into different-sized cavities, and its segments can fold into helical shapes and freely slide along the chain, resembling a crown ether's shape. This allows PEG to complex with metal ions of different sizes and participate in phase transfer catalysis.
PEG 1000 and PEG 1500 are used as matrices or lubricants in the pharmaceutical, textile, and cosmetic industries, as well as dispersants in the paint and rubber industries. PEG 2000 and PEG 3000 are used as lubricants in metalworking casting molds, stamping or forming, and the paper industry. PEG 1450 and PEG 3350 are suitable for making ointments, suppositories, and creams, which are less irritating than traditional fat-based suppositories.
PEG 4000, PEG 6000, and PEG 8000 are used as binders in the pharmaceutical industry and are commonly used as matrices for ointments, suppository matrices, dispersants, emulsifiers, and tablet manufacturing. High molecular weight PEGs provide a glossy and smooth surface to tablets, preventing them from sticking together and adhering to the drug container. In the rubber industry, medium molecular weight PEG 4000 is easy to process and has good compatibility with rubber, providing excellent lubrication and a smoother surface.
PEG 10,000 can be used as a matrix in pellet formulations, serving as a binder during the granulation process in the preparation of traditional Chinese medicine granules. It can also be used as a carrier for the preparation of immediate-release capsules and as a surfactant in the preparation of nanocrystals.
PEG 20,000 is used in protein dialysis and modification, where activated PEG 20,000 is conjugated with protein molecules to alter their spatial structure, increase chemical stability, enhance resistance to enzymatic hydrolysis, reduce immunogenicity and toxicity, prolong in vivo half-life, and lower plasma clearance. In the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, it is used as a matrix, offering viscosity and melting point regulation, and shows significant effects on drug release and controlled drug release. In the synthesis of lithium iron phosphate used in lithium-ion batteries, it serves as a carbon source for carbon coating, improving the material's electronic conductivity.
Polyethylene Glycol Products of Different Molecular Weights
Product Name
Other Name
PEG 200
Polyethylene glycol 200
PEG 300
Polyethylene glycol 300
PEG 400
Polyethylene glycol 400
PEG 600
Polyethylene glycol 600
PEG 1000
Polyethylene glycol 1000
PEG 1450
Polyethylene glycol 1450
PEG 1500
Polyethylene glycol 1500
PEG 2000
Polyethylene glycol 2000
PEG 3350
Polyethylene glycol 3350
PEG 4000
Polyethylene glycol 4000
PEG 6000
Polyethylene glycol 6000
PEG 8000
Polyethylene glycol 8000
PEG 10000
Polyethylene glycol 10000
PEG 20000
Polyethylene glycol 20000
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