Good's buffers

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Good's buffers (also Good buffers) are twelve buffering agents selected and described by Norman Good and colleagues in 1966. Good selected the buffers based on a number of criteria which make them candidates for use in biochemistry and biological research. Many remain staples in modern biology laboratories.

Selection criteria

Good sought to identify buffering compounds which met several criteria likely to be of value in biological research.

  1. pK<sub>a</sub>. Because most biological reactions take place at near-neutral pH between 6 and 8, ideal buffers would have pK<sub>a</sub> values in this region to provide maximum buffering capacity there.
  2. Solubility. For ease in handling and because biological systems are in aqueous systems, good solubility in water was required. Low solubility in nonpolar solvents (fats, oils, and organic solvents) was also considered beneficial, as this would tend to prevent the buffer compound from accumulating in nonpolar compartments in biological systems: cell membranes and other cell compartments.
  3. Membrane impermeability. Ideally, a buffer will not readily pass through cell membranes, this will also reduce the accumulation of buffer compound within cell.
  4. Minimal salt effects. Highly ionic buffers may cause problems or complications in some biological systems.
  5. Influences on dissociation. There should be a minimum influence of buffer concentration, temperature, and ionic composition of the medium on the dissociation......
  6. ...

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