Date of Award

Summer 1953

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Shortly after the end of World War II Dr. H. B. Benjamin, of the Marquette University Medical School, began a series of studies, designed to determine the value of intravenous administration of okra pod fractions in ulcer treatment. To determine the toxicity of the fractions he infused dogs after they had been used for student surgery. During several such tests on animals in hemorrhagic shock, Dr. Benjamin observed that certain okra pod fractions had the property of maintaining an adequate blood volume and alleviating the condition of shock. These observations led Dr. Benjamin to shift his major research interest from the okra pod fractions in ulcer therapy to the adaptation of these fractions as a blood plasma substitute. To tailor-make a material for use as a plasma substitute requires considerable knowledge of its physical and chemical properties. At the start of this investigation practically nothing was known about the chemical nature of the fraction isolated from okra pods. For this reason Dr. K. D. Brown set up a research project designed to give information along these lines. In 1952 John J. Kisch under the direction of Dr. Brown and Dr. C. Haymaker showed the active fraction to be largely polysaccharide and partially identified the sugar components by paper chromatography. In June 1952 work was begun on the optimum conditions for chemical hydrolysis and the positive identification of the products produced by chemical hydrolysis. The results of these investigations are reported in this thesis.



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