1) Natural buffers are chemicals that the body releases into the blood stream to help maintain a healthy pH level. Carbon dioxide (CO2) acts as an acid by donating hydrogen ions when needed and forms carbonic acid when it dissolves in water. Carbonic acid bicarbonate is important for maintaining an acid base balance in the blood as it equalizes the pH (7.5) of the blood.
All body fluids have buffers that defend the body against pH changes. A process that affects buffers in the blood is exercise. The muscles require more oxygen (O2) whilst exercising as the metabolism is increased and produce CO2 and H+. This then sets a concentration gradient in opposite direction from the oxygen O2 gradient allowing CO2 and H+ to flow from muscles into the blood. Buffering of haemoglobin then picks up excess hydrogen ions (H+) and CO2. Too much H+ and CO2 affects the carbonic acid equilibrium and as a result the pH level of the blood is lowered causing acidic conditions.
The kidneys and lungs work together to help maintain the blood pH by affecting the components of buffers in the blood. Equation: H+(aq) +HCO`3 (aq) D H2CO3(aq) D H2O(l) + CO2(g)
2) Buffers are used in enzymes; most enzymes have an optimum pH range of approximately 7. If the pH falls to either side of 7 it can impair or destroy the function and structure of the enzyme. According to the company ‘Patient Storm’ a new invention has discovered a method to stabilise an enzyme during freezing providing the enzyme in a zwitteronic buffer solution.
A zwitterionic composition is useful as a surface active agent in aqueous solutions. The buffer solution has the capacity to stabilise an enzyme, such as glocuse oxidase, in a liquid state whilst providing protection if the the end solution is frozen. The zwitterionic buffer can stabalise the activity of enzymes by preventing large pH shifts during freezing.
Water will freeze and ice crystals will grow in a typical buffer composition and as...
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