Ficoll™ is a sucrose polymer commonly used to adjust the density and viscosity of solutions in the lab. It is employed in density gradients and loading buffers.
Ficoll is an uncharged, highly branched polymer formed by the co-polymerisation of sucrose and epichlorohydrin. Due to its many hydroxyl groups, Ficoll is highly soluble in water. Densities of up to 1.2 g/ml can be attained.
One of the most common applications for Ficoll is as a density gradient for the isolation of eukaryotic cells, organelles, bacterial cells, and pancreatic islets.