Characteristics and uses of DMSO

What is DMSO?

The DMSO ( Dimethylsulfoxide ) is an organic liquid since it is obtained from trees. One of its main characteristics is that it is a colorless liquid and that it is aprotic, that is, it is a type of solvent that does not give or accept protons. The DMSO It is a fast penetrating organic liquid.

What are the characteristics of DMSO?

DMSO has several factors that help it distinguish itself from other chemical compounds that may be similar to it or have a similar function or even use. Thus, DMSO is distinguished by the following points:

    • Its chemical formula is (CH₃) 2SO . Its molecule has a pyramidal shape with atoms of sulfur, oxygen, carbon and hydrogen

DMSO formula

  • The DMSO it is characterized by being an organic liquid soluble in water and miscible with ethanol, acetone, benzene and numerous organic solvents with the exception of some hydrocarbons.
  • It is a clear, colorless and odorless liquid.
  • Solidification point: less than 18 ° C. Melting point: 18 ° C. Flash point: 95 ° C. Boiling point: 189 ° C. Autoignition temperature: 270 ° C.
  • The DMSO can be absorbed through the penetration cutaneous, ingestion or even inhalation of the aerosol.

What are the main uses of DMSO?

Thanks to its characteristics, the DMSO it is used for various purposes. Among many others we find it:

  • How solvent : DMSO is frequently used as solvent for chemical reactions that involve salts. It is also used as extractant in biochemistry Y cell biology . Furthermore, DMSO is increasingly being used in manufacturing processes to produce microelectronic devices . Another of its areas of use is biopreservation , especially in stem cell banks. Lastly, DMSO is a effective paint stripper , being safer than many others, such as nitromethane (CH₃NO₂) and dichloromethane (CH 2 Cl 2 ).
  • In the field of veterinary: The DMSO is commonly used in veterinary medicine as horse liniment for the treatment of increased intracranial pressure and / or cerebral edema. Can be used alone or with other ingredients tailoring the intended function of DMSO is as a solvent, to carry the other ingredients through the skin.
  • In the field of biology: The DMSO it’s used in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to inhibit secondary structures in the DNA template or DNA primers. It is added to the PCR mix before reacting. DMSO can also be used as cryoprotective , added to cell media to reduce ice formation and thus prevent cell death during the freezing process. Finally, in cell culture, DMSO is used to induce cell differentiation of P19 embryonal carcinoma in cardiomyocytes and skeletal muscle cells.