engelbert_buxbaum4 at engelbert_buxbaum4 at
Tue Nov 14 00:35:09 EST 2000

In article <3A108B9D.55A4376C at>,
  aqshen at (amy shen) wrote:
> can anyone tell me the approximation cmc of BSA? (Bovine Serum

The cmc (critical micellar concentration) is a property of detergents.
It gives you the maximal concentration of free detergent molecules
achievable in a solution of given composition (salts, sugar, glycerol
and other additives influence cmc, as does temperature). Beyond that
concentration detergent molecules will form aggregates, where the
hydrophobic tails point to the core and the hydropilic headgroups
interact with the solvent. These aggregates have a more or less defined
size, given by the aggregation number of that detergent (which again
depends on conditions).

Albumine is a protein, and not a detergent. If you exceed the solubility
limit of albumin (for example by the addition of salts or organic
solvents), precipitation (or crystall formation if you do it carefully)
will occure rather than micelle formation. For this reason, no cmc can
be defined for albumine.

There is an excelent review on detergent properties by Helenius in BBA,
back in the early '70s if I remember correctly.  Chattopadhyay & London
(Anal. Biochem. 139 (1984) 408-412) give a nice way to measure the cmc
of detergents.

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