A property of water in a biological systems is that it is a Buffer,what does this mean? i.e what is the role of a buffer in blood(plasma) & water
I'm just trying to understand why the role of a buffer is important in relation to water and blood in a biological system
What does it do? why and how? O.O
2 Answers | Add Yours
A buffer is a solution of a weak acid in the presence of its salt. The pH of a body is important to keeping cells alive. The buffer helps to keep the pH constant, thus keeping the cells alive. Ionized hydrogen causes a drop in pH, a drastic one. The buffer keeps this from becoming so great as to be a problem.
Because water is made of hydrogen and oxygen, it can dissolve to release both hydroxide (basic) and hydronium (acidic) ions, making it a natural buffer solution. This means that water can neutralize to some extent either an acid or a base; additionally, water is an excellent diluent for both acids and bases.
It's very important for blood and other body fluids to remain at a stable and correct pH. This allows various enzymes and other proteins to keep their correct structures, as pH extremes are likely to denature them and make them nonfunctional.
Water is also an excellent temperature buffer, as it is able to absorb a good amount of energy without experiencing a large temperature swing. This is equally important for protein structure.
Join to answer this question
Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.Join eNotes