1,5-dimethyl-1,5-diazaundecamethylene polymethobromide, Hexadimethrine bromide
Product No. 107689

Polybrene, a positively charged polymer,1 is a well-known anti-heparin agent.2-4 It is also a useful diagnostic tool in the selective functional studies of the anterior pituitary and zona glomerulosa of the adrenal cortex.5,6 Polybrene produces a nonspecific agglutination of red blood cells,1,7 attributed to neutralization of the net negative charge of the red blood cells.5 A sensitive, automated technique for the detection of antibodies using Polybrene has been developed. This “Automated Polybrene Technique” involves a three-phase procedure:1,9

  1. Rapid sensitization of the test red blood cells by antibodies in an acidified low ionic medium
  2. Agglutination of the red blood cells by treatment with Polybrene.
  3. Reversal of the Polybrene effect with an isotonic salt solution, i.e., the repelling forces on the red blood cells are restored, thus effecting their deaggregation and resuspension.

Detection and determination of antibodies are based on the temperature-dependent deaggregation phase in which any remaining red cell aggregates are hemolyzed and the hemoglobin measured colorimetrically. The method affords a very useful clinical and blood-banking tool.

The “Automated Polybrene Technique” has been used to study acquired hemolytic anemia10 and the thermal properties of antigen-anti body complexes.9

The coagulant property of Polybrene has been utilized in developing an accurate, rapid and simple method for the assay of heparin activity in vitro. Polybrene is the specific neutralizing agent. This test is a simplification of the conventional “thrombin time.”

Polybrene has also been used to enhance virus detection in the MuLV and MSV systems in vitro.10

Polybrene has been found to greatly enhance the degradation of peptides on automated sequential analysis.11,12

The cationic polymer is also used in formulating hairconditioning, skin-moisturizing, and skin-softening agents.

Appearance and Handling

Appearance: Off-white crystals or powder

Handling: Polybrene may cause irritation of the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes. Use in a chemical fume hood. Wear safety goggles and rubber gloves.

Emergency Procedures

Fire: May liberate acidic gases on burning. Extinguish with water spray, foam, carbon dioxide, or dry powder.

Spill: Wear safety goggles and rubber gloves. Mix the material with dry caustic, sweep up, wrap in paper, and burn in an incinerator. Flush area well with water.

Skin Contact: Wash with copious amounts of water. Remove contaminated clothing.

Eye Contact: Wash with copious amounts of water. Consult a physician.

Ingestion: Assume highly toxic if ingested. May cause lesions of the adrenal cortex. Induce vomiting. Consult a physician

Waste Disposal: Mix the material with dry sodium bicarbonate, wrap in paper, and burn in an incinerator. Observe all Federal, state, and local regulations.


Keep well closed. Extremely hygroscopic. Store in a cool dry place.



Lalezari P. 1968. A New Method for Detection of Red Blood Cell Antibodies. 8(6):372-380. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.1968.tb02439.x
Preston FW. 1952. J. Lab. Clin. Med.. 40927.
Preston FW, Parker RP. 1953. New antiheparin agent: polybrene; effect in peptone shock and in experimental radiation injury. AMA Arch Surg.. 66(4):545-51.
Preston FW, Hohf R, Trippel O. 1956. The Neutralization of Heparin with Polybrene. Quart. Bull. Northw. Univ. Med. Sch.. 30138.
Kovács K, Carroll R, Tapp E. 1964. EXPERIMENTAL HEXADIMETHRINE NECROSIS OF ANTERIOR PITUITARY. The Lancet. 284(7366):919-921. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(64)90858-x
Symington T. 1962. MORPHOLOGY AND SECRETORY CYTOLOGY OF THE HUMAN ADRENAL CORTEX. Br. Med. Bull.. 18(2):117-21. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.bmb.a069951
Lalezari P, Spaet TH. 1971. J. Lab. Clin. Med.. 57868.
Lalezari P, Oberhardt B. 1971. Temperature Gradient Dissociation of Red Cell Antigen?Antibody Complexes in the Polybrene Technique. Br J Haematol. 21(1):131-146. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2141.1971.tb03423.x
Grann VR, Homewood K, Golden W. 1972. Polybrene Neutralization as a Rapid Means of Monitoring Blood Heparin Levels. Am J Clin Pathol. 58(1):26-32. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcp/58.1.26
Manning JS, Hackett AJ, Darby, Jr. NB. 1971. Effect of Polycations on Sensitivity of BALB/3T3 Cells to Murine Leukemia and Sarcoma Virus Infectivity. Appl. Microbiol.. 22(6):1162-3.
Tarr GE, Beecher JF, Bell M, McKean DJ. 1978. Polyquarternary amines prevent peptide loss from sequenators. Analytical Biochemistry. 84(2):622-627. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0003-2697(78)90086-6
Klapper DG, Wilde CE, Capra J. 1978. Automated amino acid sequence of small peptides utilizing Polybrene. Analytical Biochemistry. 85(1):126-131. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0003-2697(78)90282-8