The effects of γ-irradiation on hyaluronic acid (HA) and its molecular complex with cetyl pyridinium cations have been examined in the solid state. On the basis of the nature of the electron spin resonance (ESR) spectra, radical yields, and physical chemical data, there is good evidence that protection of hyaluronic acid occurs when irradiated in a complex with cetyl pyridinium cations. The radiation protection conferred on the polyanion by the cetyl pyridinium cations is discussed in terms of energy transfer processes.

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