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Almost always NaCl in buffers - Why?

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#1 feldman



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Posted 26 April 2011 - 05:54 PM

Hi all,

I was just wondering if anyone knows why (~250mM) NaCl is almost always the starting salt of choice for buffers. Why not ammonium sulfate, MgCl2, KCl, or KBr? Is it just because NaCl is the cheapest and most abundant? If so, are there other, more optimal, salts out there that we could be using? I have read a little about the hofmeister series, and from what I have read on that it seems as if using low concentrations of ammonium sulfate would be a good thing, but then again I am likely misinterpreting what I have read. That said, if any of you have advice or input regarding this please post away. It is welcomed.


Edited by feldman, 26 April 2011 - 05:55 PM.

#2 bob1


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Posted 26 April 2011 - 08:29 PM

Usually there is some salt, which, in my experience, is about 150 mM or approximately 0.9% = "normal saline" - i.e. iso-osmotic with that found in the body/cell. NaCl is used as it is cheap, abundant in the cell, and easy to calculate the osmolality.

Edited by bob1, 26 April 2011 - 08:29 PM.

#3 proteaMatt



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Posted 27 April 2011 - 05:24 AM

Another convenient thing with using NaCl, if you need to adjust the pH of your buffer you can just use HCl or NaOH without adding other ions to the buffer that you might not want.
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#4 newborn



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Posted 01 May 2011 - 10:19 PM

Na concentration is normally high in plasma and physically innert for normal condition, while other ion such as Mg, Ca can affect signal pathways.

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