Poly-L-Lysine and Poly-D-Lysine


Polylysine is a positively charged synthetic polymer of the amino acid(s) l-lysine or d-lysine.

Polylysine facilitates the attachment of proteins and cells to solid surfaces for biological applications, where attachment, growth, and development of many cell types are dependent on exogenous attachment factors and extracellular matrix components. To help facilitate the attachment, cell spreading, growth, morphology, differentiation, and motility of your cells, Alamanda Polymers® offers sterile-filtered poly-l-lysine and poly-d-lysine in different molecular weight ranges.

Chemical Structure of Polylysine


chemical structure of Poly-L-Lysine


chemical structure of Poly-D-Lysine

Production of Polylysine

The most common polymerization production method for polylysine uses a base to initiate chain growth. Utilizing this method, however, gives rise to unwanted termination reactions, resulting in heterogeneous chain lengths. Our proprietary method allows for the use of nucleophilic initiators and yields:

  • complete control over the molecular weight
  • metal free polymers (no metal catalysts)
  • highly monodisperse products (polydispersity index: 1.01-1.2)

Functions of Polylysine

As an attachment factor, polylysine can be paired to a culture surface and used to enhance the electrostatic interaction between negatively-charged ions of the cell membrane and positively-charged ions of the culture surface by increasing the number of positively-charged sites available for cell binding.

In histochemical applications, both poly-l-lysine and poly-d-lysine are used to coat slides to promote the attachment of cells.

Relevant Polylysine Products

Alamanda Polymers offers a number of polylysine products. Feel free to contact us if you have a special request for a poly-l-lysine or poly-d-lysine product that is not listed.

Precautions when handling Polylysine

Normal precautions exercised in handling laboratory reagents should be followed with handling polylysine. Refer to the product Material Safety Data Sheet for any updated risk, hazard, or safety information. Observe all local, state, and federal laws when disposing of waste.

Storage & Stability of Polylysine

Solid polylysine should be stored under argon and away from light at -15°C. Polylysine solution should be stored in a tightly closed container at 15-30°C while diluted polylysine solution should be stored in a refrigerator at 2-8°C. Otherwise, reagent is stable until expiration date shown on label.

Relevant Literature

"Neutral coatings for the study of polycation/multicharged anion interactions by capillary electrophoresis: application to dendrigraft poly-L-lysines with negatively multicharged molecules"
T. Zou, F. Oukacine, T. Le Saux, H. Cottet, Anal. Chem. 2010, 82, 7362-7368. (read online)