Common Lab Uses of Detergents

Common Lab Uses of Detergents

If you are present in a lab, then you may notice numerous detergents around you. The best thing about lab detergents is that these do not interfere with your experiments, and maybe that is why they are so commonly and excessively available in the lab.

The most significant benefit of having a detergent is that it could be easily soluble and interactive with many different types of molecules.
We have listed the most common uses of detergents in a lab, which would help you realize the importance of having a detergent in a lab.


Blocks non-specific binding

In several experiments, detergents are utilized for blocking certain specific binding elements. If you try to recall, you must have used a detergent quite a couple of times in your experiments. Non-ionic detergents are very helpful in blocking the non-specific binding. These are widely used in immunoassays to get the desired results.
It is important to remember that some detergent can be way too strong and could harm your target of the experiment; therefore, before using any detergent, you should understand its intensity and the results it could generate.


Cell lysis

Protein, RNA, or even DNA, regardless of what you are trying to separate, have to take help from lysing. This is where the solubility of the detergents come into action. The solubility makes it possible to separate the components such as nuclear cells and the membrane.


Cell permeabilization

When you try to get the intramolecular markers for FACS, it might get inconvenient for you to stain it, but detergents could act as your saviour. Always remember to use a gentle detergent, as the hard detergents can poke holes in the membrane, which would allow the antibodies to move out. Go for a mild solubilizer to get the best results.


Gel electrophoresis

Detergent is not needed only one test, but in numerous tests, you name it, and detergent is needed. Native, 2D gel electrophoresis or isoelectric focusing, all of these require detergent. If you are not concerned about the native structure, you can even pick a hard detergent. However, if you want to keep the system intact, then a mild detergent would work for you.


Solubilizes and crystallizes membrane proteins

Membrane proteins and detergents have a few things in common. To keep the membrane proteins alive, you would have to place them within the membrane, which might get complicated. Here is when detergents come into action; detergents form a little wall that possesses the properties of a membrane.


Cleans your hands

This is not directly related to your experiments but it could affect your experiments and tests. It is essential to wash your hands for 30 seconds before and after every experiment that you perform. This practice would protect you and the people around you.
These were some of the most common uses of detergents in a lab, but there could be some hidden uses.



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