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What Are the Applications of PEG?

PEG for Research

PEG, or polyethylene glycol, is a synthetic material with countless applications in various industries. Mostly, it’s considered a go-to option due to its versatility and properties.

Creative PEGWorks – a manufacturer and supplier of advanced functional polymer products – also endeavors to educate the public on the many applications of PEG. Here are the various ways it’s used:


PEG helps create a range of biocompatible products usable in medical applications. It’s widely used as a delivery system for drugs, gene therapies, imaging agents, and other treatments. Additionally, the material helps create research models or tools like cell culture systems and assays. These models promote a better understanding of the fundamentals of biological science. Consequently, researchers tap into PEGs to develop innovative treatments.

Also, in the research of new drugs, PEG is used as an excipient to enhance the effectiveness of a drug. For instance, by altering the shape and size of molecular structures, it enables researchers to create more targeted formulations with a higher success rate.

Personal Care

The cosmetic industry has benefited significantly from PEG. For instance, it’s used in shampoos, deodorants, makeup, lotions, and other products. Plus, it promotes the delivery of active ingredients in topical skin creams to improve absorption rates.

Additionally, PEG effectively binds oils and water together, making products more uniform and longer lasting. What’s more, the material is incorporated in waxes and pastes for styling purposes. PEG’s unique properties make it ideal for providing a shiny, conditioned finish with a natural look.

Industrial Use

Manufacturers of coatings, lubricants, adhesives, and plasticizers heavily rely on PEG. Why, you might ask? Its numerous benefits include superior lubrication, excellent flow properties, improved adhesion, and a high safety profile.

Case in point, it’s used as a lubricant and dispersant in adhesives, allowing for more efficient assembly and faster production times. The material also helps create paints with better adhesion properties while preventing the formation of mold and mildew. Likewise, it helps produce synthetic rubber goods like belts and seals by preventing them from degrading quickly.

It also acts as a lubricant and surfactant that helps reduce friction and improve the performance of manufacturing processes. In so doing, it enhances the consistency and quality of products while providing a low-cost alternative to traditional specialty oils.

Additionally, PEG is used in detergents and other household cleaning products, making them more environmentally friendly. For instance, the material enables the biodegradation of ingredients in dishwashing liquids.

Clinical and Pharmaceutical Application

PEG is integral in producing pharmaceuticals, biological products, and medical devices. For instance, it helps increase drug solubility or extend a medication’s active life in the body.

Likewise, PEG feeding tubes exemplify the versatility of the material. These help nourish patients who cannot swallow or digest food by mouth. Similarly, PEG is also used in other medical devices, such as catheters and implants.

In the molecular biology field, PEG facilitates the purification and concentration of proteins, DNA, RNA, and other molecules. This enables researchers to separate and analyze biomolecules from a sample.

It also helps create lubricants for medical applications, including oral care and eye drops. The production of biosimilars also relies on PEG. For a start, it helps create biocompatible polymers that enhance drug delivery. It can also prevent immunogenicity and improve the shelf-life of the end product by reducing microbial contamination.

Food Industry

Some food products contain PEG, albeit in small amounts. Examples include dough conditioners, ice creams, dressings, and frozen desserts. Generally, it serves as a thickener and stabilizer to keep ingredients from separating. In baked goods, its emulsifying properties help increase shelf-life by preventing mold formation.

PEG is also used in food packaging, making it more flexible and resistant to external factors like air or moisture. The material even helps create biodegradable packaging for sustainable solutions.

Moreover, PEG may act as a coating agent on fruits and vegetables, allowing them to last longer. The material also helps produce low-fat foods by replacing certain fats with fatty acids. For instance, protein-polysaccharides complexes of PEG help improve the texture of low-fat foods.

In some cases, PEG helps enhance the flavor of food items. For instance, it can help promote a more even spread of seasoning or other flavorings onto snacks and chips. It also enhances the texture and consistency of beverages while providing a smoother mouthfeel.

Given the diverse applications of PEG, it’s no surprise that its popularity continues to increase. And as the uses of the material expand, so too will its potential to improve our lives. Thus, PEG’s value is undeniable. All in all, it’s an essential part of our world.

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