Why does Calbiochem® BiochemicalsPublish a Booklet on Buffers?
We are frequently asked questions on the use of buffers that we offer to research laboratories. This booklet is designed to help answer basic questions about the use of buffers in biological systems. The discussion presented here is by no means complete, but we hope it will help in the understanding of general principles involved in the use of buffers.Almost all biological processes are pH dependent. Even a slight change in pH can result in metabolic acidosis or alkalosis, resulting in severe metabolic complica-tions. The purpose of a buffer in a biological system is to maintain intracellular and extracellular pH within a very narrow range and resist changes in pH in the presence of internal and external influences. Before we begin a discussion of buffers and how they control hydrogen ion concentrations, a brief explanation of the role of water and equilibrium constants of weak acids and bases is necessary.