What is “Assay Buffer?”


What is “Assay Buffer?”

In: 6

Basically just salty water! Tris salts and a little bit of EDTA (also known as TE buffer). Or, in RNA assays sometimes you’ll have citric acid buffers instead.

“Assay” is a test / procedure; we typically call an experiment in biology an “assay”. A buffer is a salt (of a weak acid combined with a weak base) that you add to a liquid (usually water) to keep the pH (amount of free protons) in the liquid from changing too much.

In biological experiments, it’s often the different enzymes or chemicals used tend to only work in a specific pH range, and a buffer helps keep the reactions from using or making enough H+ to mess up the reaction. They work by letting the H+ react with the buffer rather than other things in the experiment (technically, changing the equilibrium of the buffer’s acid-base between conjugated and unconjugated).

Great question, I use buffers all the time in my lab. Basically a lot of the chemical tests we run work best at a particular pH, or we want to simulate the pH that exists in the natural environment the sample was sourced from. So to help the reaction be optimal for our experiment, we can use a buffer to keep the pH at a desired level. Other times, the buffer can help preserve materials for storage. This is common in DNA sequencing where the isolated DNA will be stored in a particular buffer that helps prevent the DNA from degrading.

**So a buffer is generally a chemical that isn’t mean to react directly with anything in the experiment/test, but rather helps keep the conditions optimal for all the other stuff going on.**

An assay is just a chemical test meant to determine how much of something is in a sample. So a buffer can be used in assays, but also in many other contexts.

Assay buffer is basically a liquid mixture used in scientific experiments to help the reaction happen. It’s like the sidekick to the main chemical or molecule being studied.

Assay buffer is a solution used in chemical and biochemical assays to maintain a consistent environment for the reaction to occur, such as temperature and pH. It is also used to provide a source of ions and other molecules that may be necessary for the reaction to occur.