DEXTRAN has been a nuisance in the sugar industry; particularly toward the end of the season the pipes in a sugar mill may become plugged owing to an excessive accumulation of dextran.1 This is a rather frequent occurrence. The organism Leuconostoc mesenteroides contaminates the sugar slime and produces dextran from the sugar. The molecules may become extremely large, up to 2,000,000 or 3,000,000 molecular weight. Under the electron microscope they appear to be branched, somewhat resembling a dead twig from a tree. In the early studies on dextran an effort was made to see if it would produce antibodies in animals, and it was found that it did not. This led to the speculation that it might serve some useful purpose in clinical practice, and in 1944 Grönwall and Ingelman2 of Sweden suggested the use of dextran as a substitute for plasma.
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LUNDY JS, GRAY HK, CRAIG WM. DEXTRAN IN SUPPORTIVE THERAPY, WITH COMMENTS ON PERISTON AND GELATIN. Arch Surg. 1950;61(1):55-61. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1950.01250020058007