Buffers maintain their pH when small amounts of strong acids or bases are added. In biology, buffer solutions are used to provide a constant pH environment for biochemical processes. The pH often changes the environments of tissues and cells and can alter the activity of biomolecules. Buffers maintain the correct pH for proteins and oligonucleotides, and are especially important for techniques like electrophoresis.
Commonly used buffers in life science research share some of these characteristics:
- A pKa value between 6.0 and 8.0
- High water solubility
- Minimal changes due to temperature and concentration
- Limited effects due to ionic or salt composition of the solution
Browse our comprehensive selection of buffers including common buffers tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane (tris) and 4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethanesulfonic acid (HEPES).
Deionized Formamide is used in molecular biology and a denaturing agent for nucleic acids in gel electrophoresis orr hybridization experiments. In the latter case the role of formamide is to decrease the temperature necessary for the reassociation of complementary nucleic acids.