Chaotropic Definition

Eugene Kulikov eumenius at
Tue Feb 2 03:44:49 EST 1999

> Hi all,
> I can not find the definition to "chaotropic"
> I could guess at what it might mean, I know which chemicals are:
> NaI,
> NaClO4
> Guanidinium Thiocyanate (GuSCN) and 
> Guanidinium Hydrochloride (GuHCl),
> but what does it actually mean?, its used so often without explanation.
Hi !

Chaotropic - can be translated as chaos generating, increasing entropy
level in systems. For example, sodium perchlorate can be used in methods of
solubilisation of agarose gels (low and high-melt) for DNA extraction
purposes after preparative foresis. They break the gel structure of
agarose, and DNA exits from pores and loops of polysaccharide freely.
Often chaotropic reagents also useful for low-molecular component
extcraction from live matter, complex destruction.


Eugene Kulikov, Ph.D
Russian Academy of Science
Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology
eumenius at

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