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barbital buffer???? - what for??? (Oct/18/2010 )

Hello there.

I'm just started working on a immunology protocol for "Complement Fixation Analysis" and it says that erythrocytes must be washed and diluted in a buffer with sodium barbital. I found this about barbital:

"...a calming effect), as hypnotics (to produce sleep), or as an adjunct in anesthesia. Barbiturates act by depressing the central nervous system,..."

Barbital is a forbidden substance in this country, so I would like to know if I can use a substitute for these assays. My main problem is that I just can't find what is the barbital role in that buffer!! (Gelatin + barbital). I wonder if someone know what for is the barbital in a buffer of this kind.

I'll appreciate any help!

Thanks in advance.



Relax, it's just a buffer. Look for other buffer with similar properties (pH range, ionic strength, buffering capacity).

At my uni it was used for years to make serum protein electrophoresis at biochemistry laboratory classes until they used all the stocks and couldn't buy more (same problem as you have - it's a controlled substance) but then just changed to other kind of buffer - I think borate or phosphate and it worked fine.