chaotropic: what's it mean?

Dima Klenchin klenchin at
Mon Aug 31 15:57:50 EST 1998

In article <mwcrepeau-2808981757410001 at>, mwcrepeau at (Marc Crepeau) wrote:
:What does this word mean?  Nobody I've asked seems to know.  I am
:referring to chaotropic as in the "chaotropic salts" which are used in
:Qiagen DNA purification kits.

Nobody in UC Davis seems to know "chaotropic"? Who did you ask?
It has to be in every [reasonable] chemistry/biochemistry book...

Chaotropic means disrupting ordered state. The term is applied almost
in all cases to water (which tend to form clasters). Since the nature
of hydrophobic "forces" is in the water forming ordered structures,
chaotropic substances weaken hydrophobic interactions, like the one
of NA and silica and dyatomes (sp.?). 

        - Dima

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