Tween 20 is a transparent viscous liquid that is commonly used in Molecular Biology as a potent nonionic detergent, emulsifier and as a blocking agent in immunoassays, such as Western Blotting . Other uses of Tween 20 include expulsion of membrane peripheral proteins and lysis of mammalian cells.
Particularly is Western Blotting, Tween 20 is used to decrease the possibility of unspecific binding of proteins (such as immunoassays) onto the nitrocellulose/nylon blotting membrane. This improves visualisation of the protein of interest by reducing the background noise (binding of primary and/or secodary antibody to the membrane).
Other potent blocking agents include nonfat dry milk, bovine serum albumin, casein and possibly nonfat soymilk.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Sigma-Aldrich (n.d). Tween 20. Available at: http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/product/sigma/p9416 [Last accessed 20/11/13].
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Galva, C., Gatto, C., Milanick, M. (2012). Soymilk: An effective and inexpensive blocking agent for immunoblotting. Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003269712002023. [Last accessed 20/11/13].