Temperature Independent pH (TIP) Buffers for Use at Low Temperatures


Researchers and practitioners in university, industrial and national labs increasingly rely on low temperatures in the development and study of products. For example, pharmaceutical companies routinely use low temperatures to study disease targets and markers.

The biomolecules are always in buffers. Since the pH of buffers changes dramatically upon lowering temperature, the biolmolecules are not the same pH when they are at the room temperature. The change of pH can dramatically change the structural and functional properties of the biomolecules so that information obtained at low temperature does not reflect its properties at room temperature or physiological temperature. Additionally, since the exact pH buffer at different temperatures is not often predictable, the results obtained using a temperature variable pH buffer cannot easily correlate back to the pH at room temperature.

This invention is a new design of pH buffers that show negligible pH change upon cooling to low temperatures, including cryotempatures. This invention solves the problem of significant change in apparent pH of a glycerol solution of common biological buffers upon cooling to cryotemperature. By combining a buffer that increases pH upon cooling with one that decreases pH upon cooling, the apparent pH change upon cooling to cryotemperature is minimized.