[ dek-struh n ]
/ ˈdɛk strən /

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.

Origin of dextran

First recorded in 1875–80; dextr(ose) + an(hydride) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for dextran

/ (ˈdɛkstrən) /


biochem a polysaccharide produced by the action of bacteria on sucrose: used as a substitute for plasma in blood transfusions

Word Origin for dextran

C19: from dextro- + -an
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medicine definitions for dextran

[ dĕkstrăn′, -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.