MES monohydrate is a buffering agent used in biochemistry and molecular biology that was selected and described by Good et al. It is a zwitterionic, morpholinic buffer that is useful for a pH range of 5.5 – 6.7 and commonly used for cell culture media, as a running buffer in electrophoresis, and for protein purification in chromatography. MES lacks the ability to form a complex with most metal ions and is recommended for use as a non-coordinating buffer in solutions with metal ions. MES is often used in buffered culture media for bacteria, yeast, and mammalian cells. It is toxic towards plants at high concentrations, but can be used in culture media at lower concentrations for plants. Due to low ionic mobility, MES is regarded as an excellent buffer for use in capillary electrochromatography. MES is often employed as a substitute for the highly toxic cacodylate, as well as a substitute for the non-zwitterionic buffers citrate and malate. MES complexes with some organotin(IV) molecules that are being explored as antitumor agents.
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