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HEPES (4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethanesulfonic acid ) is a zwitterionic organic chemical buffering agent. HEPES is widely used in cell culture, largely because tests indicate it is better at maintaining physiological pH despite changes in carbon dioxide when compared to bicarbonate buffers.
Additional recommended knowledge
The dissociation of water decreases with falling temperature, but the dissociation constants (pK) of phosphate and bicarbonate buffers do not change much with temperature. HEPES is like water in that dissociation decreases as the as temperature decreases. This makes HEPES a preferred buffering agent for maintaining enzyme structure and function at low temperatures.
Lepe-Zuniga et al. reported a phototoxicity of HEPES when exposed to ambient light by the production of hydrogen peroxide. For best repeatability of results it is then strongly advised to keep any HEPES containing solution in darkness as much as possible.
Fears that HEPES may serve as a nutrient source for aerobic bacteria have been shown to be unfounded.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "HEPES". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|