noun Chemistry, Pharmacology.
a viscous polysaccharide, composed of dextrose, produced by bacterial action on sucrose: used in confections and lacquers and in medicine chiefly as an extender for blood plasma.

1875–80; dextr(ose) + -an(hydride) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dextran (ˈdɛkstrən)
biochem a polysaccharide produced by the action of bacteria on sucrose: used as a substitute for plasma in blood transfusions
[C19: from dextro- + -an]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

dextran dex·tran (děk'strān', -strən)
Any of a group of long-chain polymers of glucose with various molecular weights that are used in isotonic sodium chloride solution for the treatment of shock, in distilled water for the relief of the edema of nephrosis, and as plasma volume expanders.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Drugs that can increase specific gravity measurements include dextran and sucrose.
The group has worked with a polymer called dextran, but the results could apply to any polymer drug carrier.
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