Preparation of Buffer Solution and Measurement of pH
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The primary purpose of a buffer is to control the pH of the solution. Buffers can also play secondary roles in a system, such as controlling ionic strength or solvating species, perhaps even affecting protein or nucleic acid structure or activity. Buffers are used to stabilize nucleic acids, nucleic acid-protein complexes, proteins, and biochemical reactions (whose products might be used in subsequent biochemical reactions). To control the pH and to establish pH gradient, complex buffer systems are used in electrophoretic systems. Buffer solutions are composed of weak acids and bases that make them comparatively resistant to pH change. Theoretically buffers offer a ready source of both acid and base to either provide additional H+ if process consumes H+ or combine with excess H+ if a reaction generates acid.