WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS IN THE MODERNA COVID-19 VACCINE? The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine contains the following ingredients: messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), lipids (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG], cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate trihydrate, and sucrose.

What is messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA)

Messenger RNA


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Alternative Titles: mRNA, messenger ribonucleic acid

Messenger RNA (mRNA)molecule in cells that carries codes from the DNA in the nucleus to the sites of protein synthesis in the cytoplasm (the ribosomes). The molecule that would eventually become known as mRNA was first described in 1956 by scientists Elliot Volkin and Lazarus Astrachan. In addition to mRNA, there are two other major types of RNAribosomal RNA (rRNA) and transfer RNA (tRNA).

protein synthesis

Synthesis of protein.

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nucleic acid: Messenger RNA (mRNA)

Messenger RNA (mRNA) delivers the information encoded in one or more genes from the DNA to the ribosome, a specialized…

Because information in DNA cannot be decoded directly into proteins, it is first transcribed, or copied, into mRNA (see transcription). Each molecule of mRNA encodes the information for one protein (or more than one protein in bacteria), with each sequence of three nitrogen-containing bases in the mRNA specifying the incorporation of a particular amino acid within the protein. The mRNA molecules are transported through the nuclear envelope into the cytoplasm, where they are translated by the rRNA of ribosomes (see translation).

protein synthesis

DNA in the cell nucleus carries a genetic code, which consists of sequences of adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), and cytosine (C) (Figure 1). RNA, which contains uracil (U) instead of thymine, carries the code to protein-making sites in the cell. To make RNA, DNA pairs its bases with those of the “free” nucleotides (Figure 2). Messenger RNA (mRNA) then travels to the ribosomes in the cell cytoplasm, where protein synthesis occurs (Figure 3). The base triplets of transfer RNA (tRNA) pair with those of mRNA and at the same time deposit their amino acids on the growing protein chain. Finally, the synthesized protein is released to perform its task in the cell or elsewhere in the body.

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In prokaryotes (organisms that lack a distinct nucleus), mRNAs contain an exact transcribed copy of the original DNA sequence with a terminal 5′-triphosphate group and a 3′-hydroxyl residue. In eukaryotes (organisms that possess a clearly defined nucleus) the mRNA molecules are more elaborate. The 5′-triphosphate residue is further esterified, forming a structure called a cap. At the 3′ ends, eukaryotic mRNAs typically contain long runs of adenosine residues (polyA) that are not encoded in the DNA but are added enzymatically after transcription. Eukaryotic mRNA molecules are usually composed of small segments of the original gene and are generated by a process of cleavage and rejoining from an original precursor RNA (pre-mRNA) molecule, which is an exact copy of the gene. In general, prokaryotic mRNAs are degraded very rapidly, whereas the cap structure and the polyA tail of eukaryotic mRNAs greatly enhance their stability.

Messenger RNA Carries the Instructions for Making Proteins

mRNA is “messenger” RNA. mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus using the nucleotide sequence of DNA as a template. This process requires nucleotide triphosphates as substrates and is catalyzed by the enzyme RNA polymerase II. The process of making mRNA from DNA is called transcription, and it occurs in the nucleus. The mRNA directs the synthesis of proteins, which occurs in the cytoplasm. mRNA formed in the nucleus is transported out of the nucleus and into the cytoplasm where it attaches to the ribosomes. Proteins are assembled on the ribosomes using the mRNA nucleotide sequence as a guide. Thus mRNA carries a “message” from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. The message is encoded in the nucleotide sequence of the mRNA, which is complementary to the nucleotide sequence of the DNA that served as a template for synthesizing the mRNA. Making proteins from mRNA is called translation.


For any of these firms to be successful, they need to prove themselves capable of solving a few key problems: avoiding an immune reaction, safely shuttling the therapy into the appropriate cells, and making sure the mRNA yields enough protein to have an effect. On that April morning in Kendall Square, Moderna began to pull back the curtain on its efforts to overcome these challenges.

Melissa Moore, who was brought on as chief scientific officer in late 2016, has been at the center of this movement toward transparency. Moore brings a distinguished pedigree to the start-up. She was a postdoc in geneticist Phillip Sharp’s lab at MIT when he won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1993 for his work on RNA. Moore then went on to study RNA as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator for nearly two decades and was a founding codirector of the RNA Therapeutics Institute at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.


Credit: C&EN/Shutterstock

Scientists are learning how to modify and control mRNA to make it more druglike for predictable protein production.

5′ cap: The endcap offers a foothold to initiate the process of translating the mRNA into a protein. Decapping enzymes also bind here to break down mRNA. In humans, the cap is normally a molecule called 7-methylguanosine linked to the mRNA via a triphosphate bridge, but chemists are creating new caps to maximize protein translation and ward off decapping enzymes.

5′ UTR: This untranslated region is key for determining how efficiently the mRNA is translated into a protein. It can also affect the mRNA’s stability.

Coding region: The ribosome, the cell’s protein-making machinery, reads this sequence and translates it to produce a protein. Because there are many different ways to write an mRNA code that will lead to the creation of the same protein, scientists look for variants that produce their desired amount of protein.

3′ UTR: Modifying this untranslated region can increase or decrease the mRNA’s stability. Scientists can also add a code here called a microRNA target sequence that limits which cells use the mRNA.

Poly(A) tail: A long sequence of adenosines (A), usually more than 100 of them, protects this end of the mRNA from degradation.

Whole mRNA: Using modified nucleosides, such as pseudouridine in place of the normal uridine, helps the mRNA evade immune cell and intracellular sensors that detect foreign RNA. Changing the sequence also alters how the lengthy mRNA strand interacts with itself, a way of controlling the speed of protein production.

Under Moore’s watch, Moderna’s scientific shyness has begun to abate. The company published a dozen mRNA research studies in 2017, and several more are on the way. “We are discovering things that we hope will rewrite the textbooks,” she says.

Those discoveries involve deciphering the molecular rules for changing the potency and longevity of mRNA molecules. The doses of traditional drugs are carefully measured before they are used, but the amount of protein that a single mRNA makes can vary widely. Cells can reuse a single mRNA to make on the order of 1,000 to 10,000 proteins. Controlling that number will help mRNA work more like traditional therapies.

One way to tune the amount of protein an mRNA makes is called codon optimization. There are many ways to write an mRNA code to produce the exact same protein, and the possible number of variants is often too large to test experimentally. So Moderna data scientist Andrew Giessel is using machine learning to determine the rules for changing an mRNA sequence to produce more or less protein, as desired. Moore says a publication describing his methods is in the works.

Actually getting the mRNA into cells is another challenge. A common solution is to wrap the mRNA in fatty vessels called lipid nanoparticles. Scientists have labored for years to make these vessels safe and effective while developing another kind of therapy, called small interfering RNA (siRNA). Chemists eventually ironed the kinks out for delivering siRNA, but those molecules are only 20 or so nucleotides long. mRNAs, meanwhile, span hundreds to thousands of nucleotides and will thus require newly designed lipid nanoparticles.

The importance of delivery is not lost on Moderna. It’s the area with the most room for improvement and the biggest focus for the company’s chemists, Moore says. One proxy for success is how much mRNA escapes from endosomes, the cellular structures that ingest lipid nanoparticles. Moore says Moderna’s current favorite lipid nanoparticle, N1GL, breaks out of the endosome 25 times as much as standard lipid nanoparticles (Mol. Ther. 2018, DOI: 10.1016/j.ymthe.2018.03.010).

An even bigger long-term challenge will be getting mRNA into specific cells of the body. Lipid nanoparticles have a tendency to aggregate in the liver. That could make mRNA useful for producing therapeutic proteins and antibodies that are secreted from liver cells and circulated in the bloodstream. But getting mRNA therapies into other organs will require either direct injection into that tissue—as in AstraZeneca’s post-heart attack VEGF study—or fancy new control systems.

Moderna has revealed the blueprints for one such system used to ensure its mRNA is made only inside cancer cells. Moderna scientist Ruchi Jain designed an mRNA that causes cancer cells to self-destruct but is recognized by, and destroyed in, healthy cells (Nucleic Acid Ther. 2018, DOI: 10.1089/nat.2018.0734).

Moderna isn’t divulging all its secrets. But even these glimpses of its research engine suggest it has scientists devoted to nearly every conceivable aspect of turning mRNA into a therapy. “There is no reason to believe it can’t be done,” Hoge told the investor crowd in April. “There is every reason to believe it is going to be hard.”


If Moderna and others can work out all the technical challenges, mRNA’s killer application could be making protein therapies inside cells, a place that biologic drugs cannot go. Many rare genetic diseases are marked by dysfunctional or deficient proteins.

The most advanced program in the field got its start in 2008, when Shire Pharmaceuticals quietly began working on mRNA therapies for people with cystic fibrosis. The goal was to replace the broken CFTR proteins, found in the lungs of people with the disease, with fully functional CFTR copies.

Led by Michael Heartlein, in 2011 the Shire team began collaborating with a new German mRNA start-up called Ethris to develop a cystic fibrosis mRNA therapy with lipid nanoparticles that could hold up under the pressure of being aerosolized for inhalable delivery into the lungs. “It was not an easy task,” Heartlein says. “Lots of work, lots of trial and error, and lots of formulations that didn’t pan out or weren’t safe.”

Shire sold its mRNA programs to a start-up called RaNA Therapeutics in 2017, and Heartlein left to become CSO of the firm. RaNA later rebranded itself as Translate Bio, and this June it became the first publicly traded mRNA start-up, raising $122 million in its initial public offering.

Another company, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, has already received U.S. Food & Drug Administation approval for multiple small-molecule drugs that improve lung function in many people with cystic fibrosis. Still, the possibility of making a fully functional, correct version of CFTR with mRNA has allure. Vertex’s drugs are not effective across all the mutations that cause the disease, but a single mRNA therapy could treat everyone. Translate Bio’s cystic fibrosis mRNA therapy is now in a Phase I clinical study, making it the first company to test an mRNA therapy for a rare genetic disease in humans. Moderna and Vertex Pharmaceuticals are working on a similar treatment, still in preclinical stages.

Moderna, Translate Bio, Ethris, and other companies have earlier-stage programs aiming to treat genetic diseases that, like cystic fibrosis, can’t be addressed by existing protein therapies.

But most of the money in the mRNA field has gone to a different application of the technology: vaccines. Traditional vaccines use bits of injected proteins to train the immune system to take down future viruses displaying those same proteins. Manufacturing them takes months, a timescale too slow to combat emerging epidemics. mRNA vaccines, on the other hand, simply encode these protein fragments in a single mRNA strand. And as mRNA companies optimize and scale up their enzymatic production of mRNA, scientists anticipate these vaccines could be made in a matter of weeks.

It’s considered the easiest test case of the technology, since the mRNA needs to produce only a small amount of protein for the vaccine to work, and setting off the body’s RNA immune sensors a little won’t hurt. “It is low-hanging fruit,” Weissman says.

Its potential has still spurred several major mRNA vaccine collaborations: The U.S. government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation invested in Moderna’s mRNA vaccine programs for diseases caused by viruses like Zika and HIV; Sanofi partnered with Translate Bio to develop infectious disease mRNA vaccines; and Pfizer last month teamed up with BioNTech to develop mRNA flu vaccines.

Many companies think mRNA vaccines can help the immune system tackle cancer too. There are many variations of the technique, but in general the mRNA encodes proteins made on cancer cells, which teaches the immune system to recognize and target tumors. CureVac is developing mRNA cancer vaccines alone and in partnerships with Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly & Co. BioNTech has multiple programs of its own too. And Merck & Co. made a splash into the field through a $200 million deal with Moderna in 2016 and another $125 million this year.

Moderna and Merck are taking the technology a step further to develop individualized cancer vaccines, in which a unique therapy is designed and manufactured for each patient. It starts with a tumor biopsy, genetic sequencing, and a proprietary algorithm that picks 20 tumor mutations that are most likely to help the immune system home in on the cancer. Those mutations are encoded into an mRNA, which is injected into the patient’s muscle and used to provide a molecular mug shot that sends the immune system seeking tumors. Genentech and BioNTech have a similar program, and results from the first 13 people stoked excitement for the technology (Nature 2017, DOI: 10.1038/nature23003), but larger studies will be required to prove its worth.

What are lipids (SM-102

Lipids are molecules that contain hydrocarbons and make up the building blocks of the structure and function of living cells. Examples of lipids include fats, oils, waxes, certain vitamins (such as A, D, E and K), hormones and most of the cell membrane that is not made up of protein.

Lipids are not soluble in water as they are non-polar, but are thus soluble in non-polar solvents such as chloroform.


A bottle of glycerin purchased at a pharmacy

Personal lubricants commonly contain glycerol

Glycerol is an ingredient in products such as hair gel

Glycerol suppositories used as laxatives

Glycerin is mildly antimicrobial and antiviral and is an FDA approved treatment for wounds. The Red Cross reports that an 85% solution of glycerin shows bactericidal and antiviral effects, and wounds treated with glycerin show reduced inflammation after roughly 2 hours. Due to this it is used widely in wound care products, including glycerin based hydrogel sheets for burns and other wound care. It is approved for all types of wound care except third degree burns, and is used to package donor skin used in skin grafts. There is no topical treatment approved for third degree burns, and so this limitation is not exclusive to glycerin.[17]

Glycerol is used in medicalpharmaceutical and personal care preparations, often as a means of improving smoothness, providing lubrication, and as a humectant.

Ichthyosis and xerosis have been relieved by the topical use of glycerin.[18][19] It is found in allergen immunotherapiescough syrupselixirs and expectorantstoothpastemouthwashesskin care products, shaving cream, hair care products, soaps, and water-based personal lubricants. In solid dosage forms like tablets, glycerol is used as a tablet holding agent. For human consumption, glycerol is classified by the U.S. FDA among the sugar alcohols as a caloric macronutrient. Glycerol is also used in blood banking to preserve red blood cells prior to freezing.

Glycerol is a component of glycerin soapEssential oils are added for fragrance. This kind of soap is used by people with sensitive, easily irritated skin because it prevents skin dryness with its moisturizing properties. It draws moisture up through skin layers and slows or prevents excessive drying and evaporation.[citation needed]

Taken rectally, glycerol functions as a laxative by irritating the anal mucosa and inducing a hyperosmotic effect,[20] expanding the colon by drawing water into it to induce peristalsis resulting in evacuation.[21] It may be administered undiluted either as a suppository or as a small-volume (2–10 ml) enema. Alternatively, it may be administered in a dilute solution, e.g., 5%, as a high volume enema.[22]

Taken orally (often mixed with fruit juice to reduce its sweet taste), glycerol can cause a rapid, temporary decrease in the internal pressure of the eye. This can be useful for the initial emergency treatment of severely elevated eye pressure.[23]

Glycerol has also been incorporated as a component of bio-ink formulations in the field of bioprinting.[24] The glycerol content acts to add viscosity to the bio-ink without adding large protein, carbohydrate, or glycoprotein molecules.

Botanical extracts[edit]

When utilized in “tincture” method extractions, specifically as a 10% solution, glycerol prevents tannins from precipitating in ethanol extracts of plants (tinctures). It is also used as an “alcohol-free” alternative to ethanol as a solvent in preparing herbal extractions. It is less extractive when utilized in a standard tincture methodology. Alcohol-based tinctures can also have the alcohol removed and replaced with glycerol for its preserving properties. Such products are not “alcohol-free” in a scientific or FDA regulatory sense, as glycerol contains three hydroxyl groups. Fluid extract manufacturers often extract herbs in hot water before adding glycerol to make glycerites.[25][26]

When used as a primary “true” alcohol-free botanical extraction solvent in non-tincture based methodologies, glycerol has been shown to possess a high degree of extractive versatility for botanicals including removal of numerous constituents and complex compounds, with an extractive power that can rival that of alcohol and water–alcohol solutions.[27] That glycerol possesses such high extractive power assumes it is utilized with dynamic (i.e. critical) methodologies as opposed to standard passive “tincturing” methodologies that are better suited to alcohol. Glycerol possesses the intrinsic property of not denaturing or rendering a botanical’s constituents inert like alcohols (i.e. ethyl (grain) alcohol, methyl (wood) alcohol, etc.) do. Glycerol is a stable preserving agent for botanical extracts that, when utilized in proper concentrations in an extraction solvent base, does not allow inverting or mitigates reduction-oxidation (REDOX) of a finished extract’s constituents, even over several years.[citation needed] Both glycerol and ethanol are viable preserving agents. Glycerol is bacteriostatic in its action, and ethanol is bactericidal in its action.[28][29][30]

Electronic cigarette liquid[edit]

Glycerin is often used in electronic cigarettes to create the vapor

Glycerin, along with propylene glycol, is a common component of e-liquid, a solution used with electronic vaporizers (electronic cigarettes). This glycerol is heated with an atomizer (a heating coil often made of Kanthal wire), producing the aerosol that delivers nicotine to the user.[31]


Main article: Antifreeze

Like ethylene glycol and propylene glycol, glycerol is a non-ionic kosmotrope that forms strong hydrogen bonds with water molecules, competing with water-water hydrogen bonds. This interaction disrupts the formation of ice. The minimum freezing point temperature is about −36 °F (−38 °C) corresponding to 70% glycerol in water.

Glycerol was historically used as an anti-freeze for automotive applications before being replaced by ethylene glycol, which has a lower freezing point. While the minimum freezing point of a glycerol-water mixture is higher than an ethylene glycol-water mixture, glycerol is not toxic and is being re-examined for use in automotive applications.[32][33]

In the laboratory, glycerol is a common component of solvents for enzymatic reagents stored at temperatures below 0 °C due to the depression of the freezing temperature. It is also used as a cryoprotectant where the glycerol is dissolved in water to reduce damage by ice crystals to laboratory organisms that are stored in frozen solutions, such as fungibacterianematodes, and mammalian embryos.

Chemical intermediate[edit]

Glycerol is used to produce nitroglycerin, which is an essential ingredient of various explosives such as dynamitegelignite, and propellants like cordite. Reliance on soap-making to supply co-product glycerol made it difficult to increase production to meet wartime demand. Hence, synthetic glycerol processes were national defense priorities in the days leading up to World War II. Nitroglycerin, also known as glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) is commonly used to relieve angina pectoris, taken in the form of sub-lingual tablets, or as an aerosol spray.

An oxidation of glycerol affords mesoxalic acid.[34] Dehydrating glycerol affords hydroxyacetone.

Vibration damping[edit]

Glycerol is used as fill for pressure gauges to damp vibration. External vibrations, from compressors, engines, pumps, etc., produce harmonic vibrations within Bourdon gauges that can cause the needle to move excessively, giving inaccurate readings. The excessive swinging of the needle can also damage internal gears or other components, causing premature wear. Glycerol, when poured into a gauge to replace the air space, reduces the harmonic vibrations that are transmitted to the needle, increasing the lifetime and reliability of the gauge.[35]

Niche uses[edit]

Film industry[edit]

Glycerol is used by the film industry when filming scenes involving water to stop areas from drying out too quickly.[36]

Glycerine is used—combined with water (around in a 1:99 proportion)—to create a smooth smoky environment. The solution is vaporized and pushed into the room with a ventilator.

Ultrasonic couplant[edit]

Glycerol can be sometimes used as replacement for water in ultrasonic testing, as it has favourably higher acoustic impedance (2.42MRayl vs 1.483MRayl for water) while being relatively safe, non-toxic, non-corrosive and relatively low cost.[37]

Internal combustion fuel[edit]

Glycerol is also used to power diesel generators supplying electricity for the FIA Formula E series of electric race cars.[38]

Research on uses[edit]

Research has been conducted to produce value-added products from glycerol obtained from biodiesel production.[39] Examples (aside from combustion of waste glycerol):


Glycerol is a precursor for synthesis of triacylglycerols and of phospholipids in the liver and adipose tissue. When the body uses stored fat as a source of energy, glycerol and fatty acids are released into the bloodstream.

Glycerol is mainly metabolized in the liver. Glycerol injections can be used as a simple test for liver damage, as its rate of absorption by the liver is considered an accurate measure of liver health. Glycerol metabolism is reduced in both cirrhosis and fatty liver disease.[49][50]

Blood glycerol levels are highly elevated during diabetes, and is believed to be the cause of reduced fertility in patients who suffer from diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Blood glycerol levels in diabetic patients average three times higher than healthy controls. Direct glycerol treatment of testes has been found to cause significant long-term reduction in sperm count. Further testing on this subject was abandoned due to the unexpected results, as this was not the goal of the experiment.[51]

Circulating glycerol does not glycate proteins as do glucose or fructose, and does not lead to the formation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs). In some organisms, the glycerol component can enter the glycolysis pathway directly and, thus, provide energy for cellular metabolism (or, potentially, be converted to glucose through gluconeogenesis).

Before glycerol can enter the pathway of glycolysis or gluconeogenesis (depending on physiological conditions), it must be converted to their intermediate glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate in the following steps:


Glycerol kinase




Glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase





Dihydroxyacetone phosphate

Triosephosphate isomerase

Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate

The enzyme glycerol kinase is present mainly in the liver and kidneys, but also in other body tissues, including muscle and brain.[52][53][54] In adipose tissue, glycerol 3-phosphate is obtained from dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP) with the enzyme glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase.

Glycerol has very low toxicity when ingested; its LD50 oral dose for rats is 12600 mg/kg and 8700 mg/kg for mice. It does not appear to cause toxicity when inhaled, although changes in cell maturity occurred in small sections of lung in animals under the highest dose measured. A sub-chronic 90-day nose-only inhalation study in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats exposed to 0.03, 0.16 and 0.66 mg/L glycerin (Per liter of air) for 6-hour continuous sessions revealed no treatment-related toxicity other than minimal metaplasia of the epithelium lining at the base of the epiglottis in rats exposed to 0.66 mg/L glycerin.[55][56]

Historical cases of contamination with diethylene glycol[edit]

On 4 May 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration advised all US makers of medicines to test all batches of glycerol for the toxic diethylene glycol.[57] This followed an occurrence of hundreds of fatal poisonings in Panama resulting from a falsified import customs declaration by Panamanian import/export firm Aduanas Javier de Gracia Express, S. A. The cheaper diethylene glycol was relabeled as the more expensive glycerol.[58][59] Between 1990 and 1998, incidents of DEG poisoning reportedly occurred in Argentina, Bangladesh, India, and Nigeria, and resulted in hundreds of deaths. In 1937, more than one hundred people died in the United States after ingesting DEG-contaminated elixir sulfanilamide, a drug used to treat infections.[60]

polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000

Medical uses[edit]

Main articles: Macrogol and PEGylation

  • PEG is the basis of a number of laxatives (as MiraLax).[4] Whole bowel irrigation with polyethylene glycol and added electrolytes is used for bowel preparation before surgery or colonoscopy.
  • PEG is also used as an excipient in many pharmaceutical products.[5]
  • PEG used in medicines for treating disimpaction and maintenance therapy for children with constipation.[6]
  • When attached to various protein medications, polyethylene glycol allows a slowed clearance of the carried protein from the blood.[7]
  • The possibility that PEG could be used to fuse axons is being explored by researchers studying peripheral nerve and spinal cord injury.[4]
  • An example of PEG hydrogels (see “Biological uses” section) in a therapeutic has been theorized by Ma et al. They propose using the hydrogel to address periodontitis (gum disease) by encapsulating stem cells in the gel that promote healing in the gums.[8] The gel and encapsulated stem cells was to be injected to the site of disease and crosslinked to create the microenvironment required for the stem cells to function.
  • PEGylated lipid is used as an excipient in both the Moderna and Pfizer–BioNTech vaccines for SARS-CoV-2. Both RNA vaccines consist of messenger RNA, or mRNA, encased in a bubble of oily molecules called lipids. Proprietary lipid technology is used for each. In both vaccines, the bubbles are coated with a stabilizing molecule of polyethylene glycol.[medical citation needed] As of December 2020 there is some concern that PEG could trigger allergic reaction,[9] and in fact allergic reactions are the driver for both the United Kingdom and Canadian regulators to issue an advisory, noting that: two “individuals in the U.K… were treated and have recovered” from anaphylactic shock.[10][11] As of 18 December, the US CDC stated that in their jurisdiction six cases of “severe allergic reaction” had been recorded from more than 250,000 vaccinations, and of those six only one person had a “history of vaccination reactions”.[12]

Chemical uses[edit]

The remains of the 16th century carrack Mary Rose undergoing conservation treatment with PEG in the 1980s

Terra cotta warrior, showing traces of original color

  • Because PEG is a hydrophilic molecule, it has been used to passivate microscope glass slides for avoiding non-specific sticking of proteins in single-molecule fluorescence studies.[13]
  • Polyethylene glycol has a low toxicity and is used in a variety of products.[14] The polymer is used as a lubricating coating for various surfaces in aqueous and non-aqueous environments.[15]
  • Since PEG is a flexible, water-soluble polymer, it can be used to create very high osmotic pressures (on the order of tens of atmospheres). It also is unlikely to have specific interactions with biological chemicals. These properties make PEG one of the most useful molecules for applying osmotic pressure in biochemistry and biomembranes experiments, in particular when using the osmotic stress technique.
  • Polyethylene glycol is also commonly used as a polar stationary phase for gas chromatography, as well as a heat transfer fluid in electronic testers.
  • PEG has also been used to preserve wooden and in some cases other organic objects that have been salvaged from underwater archaeological contexts, as was the case with the warship Vasa in Stockholm,[16] and similar cases. It replaces water in wooden objects, making the wood dimensionally stable and preventing warping or shrinking of the wood when it dries.[4] In addition, PEG is used when working with green wood as a stabilizer, and to prevent shrinkage.[17]
  • PEG has been used to preserve the painted colors on Terracotta Warriors unearthed at a UNESCO World Heritage site in China.[18] These painted artifacts were created during the Qin Shi Huang (first emperor of China) era. Within 15 seconds of the terra-cotta pieces being unearthed during excavations, the lacquer beneath the paint begins to curl after being exposed to the dry Xi’an air. The paint would subsequently flake off in about four minutes. The German Bavarian State Conservation Office developed a PEG preservative that when immediately applied to unearthed artifacts has aided in preserving the colors painted on the pieces of clay soldiers.[19]
  • PEG is often used (as an internal calibration compound) in mass spectrometry experiments, with its characteristic fragmentation pattern allowing accurate and reproducible tuning.
  • PEG derivatives, such as narrow range ethoxylates, are used as surfactants.
  • PEG has been used as the hydrophilic block of amphiphilic block copolymers used to create some polymersomes.[20]
  • PEG has also been used as a propellent on the UGM-133M Trident II Missile, in service with the United States Air Force.[21]

Biological uses[edit]

  • PEG can be modified and crosslinked into a hydrogel and used to mimic the extracellular matrix (ECM) environment for cell encapsulation and studies.[22][23]
    • An example study was done using PEG-Diacrylate hydrogels to recreate vascular environments with the encapsulation of endothelial cells and macrophages. This model furthered vascular disease modeling and isolated macrophage phenotype’s effect on blood vessels.[24]
  • PEG is commonly used as a crowding agent in in vitro assays to mimic highly crowded cellular conditions.[13]
  • PEG is commonly used as a precipitant for plasmid DNA isolation and protein crystallizationX-ray diffraction of protein crystals can reveal the atomic structure of the proteins.
  • PEG is used to fuse two different types of cells, most often B-cells and myelomas in order to create hybridomasCésar Milstein and Georges J. F. Köhler originated this technique, which they used for antibody production, winning a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1984.[4]
  • Polymer segments derived from PEG polyols impart flexibility to polyurethanes for applications such as elastomeric fibers (spandex) and foam cushions.
  • In microbiology, PEG precipitation is used to concentrate viruses. PEG is also used to induce complete fusion (mixing of both inner and outer leaflets) in liposomes reconstituted in vitro.
  • Gene therapy vectors (such as viruses) can be PEG-coated to shield them from inactivation by the immune system and to de-target them from organs where they may build up and have a toxic effect.[25] The size of the PEG polymer has been shown to be important, with larger polymers achieving the best immune protection.
  • PEG is a component of stable nucleic acid lipid particles (SNALPs) used to package siRNA for use in vivo.[26][27]
  • In blood banking, PEG is used as a potentiator to enhance detection of antigens and antibodies.[4][28]
  • When working with phenol in a laboratory situation, PEG 300 can be used on phenol skin burns to deactivate any residual phenol.[29]
  • In biophysics, polyethylene glycols are the molecules of choice for the functioning ion channels diameter studies, because in aqueous solutions they have a spherical shape and can block ion channel conductance.[30][31]

Commercial uses[edit]

Industrial uses[edit]

  • nitrate ester-plasticized polyethylene glycol (NEPE-75) is used in Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missile solid rocket fuel.[37]
  • Dimethyl ethers of PEG are the key ingredient of Selexol, a solvent used by coal-burning, integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plants to remove carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide from the syngas stream.
  • PEG has been used as the gate insulator in an electric double-layer transistor to induce superconductivity in an insulator.[38]
  • PEG is also used as a polymer host for solid polymer electrolytes. Although not yet in commercial production, many groups around the globe are engaged in research on solid polymer electrolytes involving PEG, with the aim of improving their properties, and in permitting their use in batteries, electro-chromic display systems, and other products in the future.
  • PEG is injected into industrial processes to reduce foaming in separation equipment.
  • PEG is used as a binder in the preparation of technical ceramics.[39]

Recreational uses[edit]

dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG]

Product Description

1,2-Dimyristoyl-sn-glycerol (1,2-DMG) is a saturated diacylglycerol (DAG) with myristic acid (14:0) side-chains attached at both the sn-1 and sn-2 positions. Most saturated DAGs, including 1,2-DMG, are weak second messengers for the activation of the PKC.1

WARNING This product is not for human or veterinary use.

Technical Information

Formal Name

1,1’-[(1S)-1-(hydroxymethyl)-1,2-ethanediyl] ester-tetradecanoic acid

CAS Number



  • 1,2-DMG

Molecular Formula


Formula Weight





A crystalline solid

Solubility(Learn about Variance in Solubility)

  • DMF: 20 mg/ml
  • DMSO: 7 mg/ml
  • Ethanol: 30 mg/ml
  • PBS (pH 7.2): 0.25 mg/ml



InChi Code


InChi Key


Side Chain Carbon Sum


Shipping & Storage Information




Room Temperature in continental US; may vary elsewhere


≥ 2 years

AVANTI – 857132C Page 1 of 8 SAFETY DATA SHEET Version 5.1 Revision Date 05/16/2018 Print Date 11/15/2018 Avanti Polar Lipids, Inc. 700 Industrial Park Drive, Alabaster, AL 35007,USA • (800) 227-0651 • (205) 663-2494 • Fax(800) 229-1004•(205) 663-0756 • E-mail Orders: orders@avantilipids.com • E-mail Inquiries: info@avantilipids.com • E-mail Technical Questions: technical@avantilipids.com • Visit http://www.avantilipids.com 1. PRODUCT AND COMPANY IDENTIFICATION 1.1 Product identifiers Product name : sn-(3-myristoyl-2-hydroxy)-glycerol-1-phospho-sn-3′- (1′,2′-dimyristoyl)-glycerol (ammonium salt) Product Number : 857132C Brand : AVANTI 1.2 Relevant identified uses of the substance or mixture and uses advised against Identified uses : Laboratory chemicals, Synthesis of substances 1.3 Details of the supplier of the safety data sheet Company : Avanti Polar Lipids, INC 700 Industrial Park Drive Alabaster, Al 35007 United States of America Telephone : (205) 663-2494 Fax : (205) 663-0756 1.4 Emergency telephone number Emergency Phone # : +1 703-741-5970 / 1800-424-9300(CHEMTREC) 2. HAZARDS IDENTIFICATION 2.1 Classification of the substance or mixture GHS Classification in accordance with 29 CFR 1910 (OSHA HCS) Acute toxicity, Oral (Category 4), H302 Acute toxicity, Inhalation (Category 3), H331 Skin irritation (Category 2), H315 Eye irritation (Category 2A), H319 Carcinogenicity (Category 2), H351 Reproductive toxicity (Category 2), H361d Specific target organ toxicity – single exposure (Category 3), Central nervous system, H336 Specific target organ toxicity – repeated exposure (Category 1), Liver, Kidney, H372 Acute aquatic toxicity (Category 3), H402 For the full text of the H-Statements mentioned in this Section, see Section 16. 2.2 GHS Label elements, including precautionary statements Pictogram Signal word Danger Hazard statement(s) H302 Harmful if swallowed. H315 Causes skin irritation. H319 Causes serious eye irritation. AVANTI – 857132C Page 2 of 8 H331 Toxic if inhaled. H336 May cause drowsiness or dizziness. H351 Suspected of causing cancer. H361d Suspected of damaging the unborn child. H372 Causes damage to organs (Liver, Kidney) through prolonged or repeated exposure. H402 Harmful to aquatic life. Precautionary statement(s) P201 Obtain special instructions before use. P202 Do not handle until all safety precautions have been read and understood. P260 Do not breathe dust/ fume/ gas/ mist/ vapours/ spray. P264 Wash skin thoroughly after handling. P270 Do not eat, drink or smoke when using this product. P271 Use only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. P273 Avoid release to the environment. P280 Wear protective gloves/ protective clothing/ eye protection/ face protection. P301 + P312 + P330 IF SWALLOWED: Call a POISON CENTER/doctor if you feel unwell. Rinse mouth. P302 + P352 IF ON SKIN: Wash with plenty of soap and water. P304 + P340 + P311 IF INHALED: Remove person to fresh air and keep comfortable for breathing. Call a POISON CENTER/doctor. P305 + P351 + P338 IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. P308 + P313 IF exposed or concerned: Get medical advice/ attention. P332 + P313 If skin irritation occurs: Get medical advice/ attention. P337 + P313 If eye irritation persists: Get medical advice/ attention. P362 Take off contaminated clothing and wash before reuse. P403 + P233 Store in a well-ventilated place. Keep container tightly closed. P405 Store locked up. P501 Dispose of contents/ container to an approved waste disposal plant. 2.3 Hazards not otherwise classified (HNOC) or not covered by GHS – none 3. COMPOSITION/INFORMATION ON INGREDIENTS 3.2 Mixtures Synonyms : 14:0 Hemi BMP (S,R) Molecular weight : 119.38 g/mol Hazardous components Component Classification Concentration Chloroform CAS-No. EC-No. Index-No. 67-66-3 200-663-8 602-006-00-4 Acute Tox. 4; Acute Tox. 3; Skin Irrit. 2; Eye Irrit. 2A; Carc. 2; Repr. 2; STOT SE 3; STOT RE 1; Aquatic Acute 3; H302, H315, H319, H331, H336, H351, H361d, H372, H402 90 – 100 % For the full text of the H-Statements mentioned in this Section, see Section 16. AVANTI – 857132C Page 3 of 8 4. FIRST AID MEASURES 4.1 Description of first aid measures General advice Consult a physician. Show this safety data sheet to the doctor in attendance.Move out of dangerous area. If inhaled If breathed in, move person into fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. Consult a physician. In case of skin contact Wash off with soap and plenty of water. Take victim immediately to hospital. Consult a physician. In case of eye contact Rinse thoroughly with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes and consult a physician. If swallowed Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Rinse mouth with water. Consult a physician. 4.2 Most important symptoms and effects, both acute and delayed The most important known symptoms and effects are described in the labelling (see section 2.2) and/or in section 11 4.3 Indication of any immediate medical attention and special treatment needed No data available 5. FIREFIGHTING MEASURES 5.1 Extinguishing media Suitable extinguishing media Use water spray, alcohol-resistant foam, dry chemical or carbon dioxide. 5.2 Special hazards arising from the substance or mixture No data available 5.3 Advice for firefighters Wear self-contained breathing apparatus for firefighting if necessary. 5.4 Further information No data available 6. ACCIDENTAL RELEASE MEASURES 6.1 Personal precautions, protective equipment and emergency procedures Wear respiratory protection. Avoid breathing vapours, mist or gas. Ensure adequate ventilation. Evacuate personnel to safe areas. For personal protection see section 8. 6.2 Environmental precautions Prevent further leakage or spillage if safe to do so. Do not let product enter drains. Discharge into the environment must be avoided. 6.3 Methods and materials for containment and cleaning up Soak up with inert absorbent material and dispose of as hazardous waste. Keep in suitable, closed containers for disposal. 6.4 Reference to other sections For disposal see section 13. 7. HANDLING AND STORAGE 7.1 Precautions for safe handling Avoid contact with skin and eyes. Avoid inhalation of vapour or mist. For precautions see section 2.2. 7.2 Conditions for safe storage, including any incompatibilities Keep container tightly closed in a dry and well-ventilated place. Containers which are opened must be carefully resealed and kept upright to prevent leakage. AVANTI – 857132C Page 4 of 8 Recommended storage temperature -25 – -15 °C Storage class (TRGS 510): 6.1D: Non-combustible, acute toxic Cat.3 / toxic hazardous materials or hazardous materials causing chronic effects 7.3 Specific end use(s) Apart from the uses mentioned in section 1.2 no other specific uses are stipulated 8. EXPOSURE CONTROLS/PERSONAL PROTECTION 8.1 Control parameters Components with workplace control parameters Component CAS-No. Value Control parameters Basis Chloroform 67-66-3 TWA 10 ppm USA. ACGIH Threshold Limit Values (TLV) Remarks Central Nervous System impairment Liver damage Embryo/fetal damage Confirmed animal carcinogen with unknown relevance to humans ST 2 ppm 9.78 mg/m3 USA. NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limits Potential Occupational Carcinogen See Appendix A C 50 ppm 240 mg/m3 USA. Occupational Exposure Limits (OSHA) – Table Z-1 Limits for Air Contaminants The value in mg/m3 is approximate. Ceiling limit is to be determined from breathing-zone air samples. PEL 2 ppm 9.78 mg/m3 California permissible exposure limits for chemical contaminants (Title 8, Article 107) 8.2 Exposure controls Appropriate engineering controls Avoid contact with skin, eyes and clothing. Wash hands before breaks and immediately after handling the product. Personal protective equipment Eye/face protection Face shield and safety glasses Use equipment for eye protection tested and approved under appropriate government standards such as NIOSH (US) or EN 166(EU). Skin protection Handle with gloves. Gloves must be inspected prior to use. Use proper glove removal technique (without touching glove’s outer surface) to avoid skin contact with this product. Dispose of contaminated gloves after use in accordance with applicable laws and good laboratory practices. Wash and dry hands. Body Protection Complete suit protecting against chemicals, The type of protective equipment must be selected according to the concentration and amount of the dangerous substance at the specific workplace. Respiratory protection Where risk assessment shows air-purifying respirators are appropriate use a full-face respirator with multipurpose combination (US) or type AXBEK (EN 14387) respirator cartridges as a backup to engineering controls. If the respirator is the sole means of protection, use a full-face supplied air respirator. Use respirators and components tested and approved under appropriate government standards such as NIOSH (US) or CEN (EU). Control of environmental exposure Prevent further leakage or spillage if safe to do so. Do not let product enter drains. Discharge into the environment must be avoided. AVANTI – 857132C Page 5 of 8 9. PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES 9.1 Information on basic physical and chemical properties a) Appearance Form: liquid Colour: colourless b) Odour sweet c) Odour Threshold No data available d) pH No data available e) Melting point/freezing point Melting point: -63.5 °C (-82.3 °F) at 1,013 hPa (760 mmHg) f) Initial boiling point and boiling range 61.2 °C (142.2 °F) at 1,013 hPa (760 mmHg) g) Flash point – DIN 51755 Part 1does not flash h) Evaporation rate No data available i) Flammability (solid, gas) No data available j) Upper/lower flammability or explosive limits No data available k) Vapour pressure 210 hPa (158 mmHg) at 20 °C (68 °F) l) Vapour density 4.12 – (Air = 1.0) m) Relative density 1.49 g/cm3 n) Water solubility 8.7 g/l at 23 °C (73 °F) – OECD Test Guideline 105 o) Partition coefficient: noctanol/water log Pow: 1.97 at 25 °C (77 °F) – (ECHA), Bioaccumulation is not expected. p) Auto-ignition temperature > 600 °C (> 1,112 °F) at 1,013 hPa (760 mmHg) – DIN 51794 q) Decomposition temperature Distillable in an undecomposed state at normal pressure. r) Viscosity No data available s) Explosive properties No data available t) Oxidizing properties No data available 9.2 Other safety information Solubility in other solvents organic solvent at 20 °C (68 °F) – miscible Surface tension 27.1 mN/m at 20.0 °C (68.0 °F) Relative vapour density 4.12 – (Air = 1.0) 10. STABILITY AND REACTIVITY 10.1 Reactivity No data available 10.2 Chemical stability Stable under recommended storage conditions. Contains the following stabiliser(s): Ethanol (0.5 %) 10.3 Possibility of hazardous reactions No data available AVANTI – 857132C Page 6 of 8 10.4 Conditions to avoid No data available 10.5 Incompatible materials Strong oxidizing agents, Strong bases, Magnesium, Sodium/sodium oxides, Lithium, various plastics 10.6 Hazardous decomposition products Hazardous decomposition products formed under fire conditions. – Carbon oxides, Hydrogen chloride gas Other decomposition products – No data available In the event of fire: see section 5 11. TOXICOLOGICAL INFORMATION 11.1 Information on toxicological effects Acute toxicity Dermal: No data available No data available Skin corrosion/irritation No data available Serious eye damage/eye irritation No data available Respiratory or skin sensitisation No data available Germ cell mutagenicity No data available Carcinogenicity IARC: 2B – Group 2B: Possibly carcinogenic to humans (Chloroform) NTP: RAHC – Reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen (Chloroform) OSHA: No component of this product present at levels greater than or equal to 0.1% is on OSHA’s list of regulated carcinogens. Reproductive toxicity No data available No data available Specific target organ toxicity – single exposure No data available Specific target organ toxicity – repeated exposure No data available Aspiration hazard No data available Additional Information RTECS: Not available To the best of our knowledge, the chemical, physical, and toxicological properties have not been thoroughly investigated. Stomach – Irregularities – Based on Human Evidence Stomach – Irregularities – Based on Human Evidence Stomach – Irregularities – Based on Human Evidence (Ethanol) 12. ECOLOGICAL INFORMATION 12.1 Toxicity No data available 12.2 Persistence and degradability No data available AVANTI – 857132C Page 7 of 8 12.3 Bioaccumulative potential No data available 12.4 Mobility in soil No data available 12.5 Results of PBT and vPvB assessment PBT/vPvB assessment not available as chemical safety assessment not required/not conducted 12.6 Other adverse effects An environmental hazard cannot be excluded in the event of unprofessional handling or disposal. Harmful to aquatic life. 13. DISPOSAL CONSIDERATIONS 13.1 Waste treatment methods Product Offer surplus and non-recyclable solutions to a licensed disposal company. Contact a licensed professional waste disposal service to dispose of this material. Dissolve or mix the material with a combustible solvent and burn in a chemical incinerator equipped with an afterburner and scrubber. Contaminated packaging Dispose of as unused product. 14. TRANSPORT INFORMATION DOT (US) UN number: 1888 Class: 6.1 Packing group: III Proper shipping name: Chloroform, solution Reportable Quantity (RQ): 10 lbsReportable Quantity (RQ): 10 lbs Poison Inhalation Hazard: No IMDG UN number: 1888 Class: 6.1 Packing group: III EMS-No: F-A, S-A Proper shipping name: CHLOROFORM, SOLUTION IATA UN number: 1888 Class: 6.1 Packing group: III Proper shipping name: Chloroform, solution 15. REGULATORY INFORMATION SARA 302 Components Chloroform CAS-No. 67-66-3 Revision Date 2008-11-03 SARA 313 Components The following components are subject to reporting levels established by SARA Title III, Section 313: Chloroform CAS-No. 67-66-3 Revision Date 2008-11-03 SARA 311/312 Hazards Acute Health Hazard, Chronic Health Hazard : Reportable Quantity D022 lbs Massachusetts Right To Know Components Chloroform CAS-No. 67-66-3 Revision Date 2008-11-03 Pennsylvania Right To Know Components Chloroform CAS-No. 67-66-3 Revision Date 2008-11-03 California Prop. 65 Components AVANTI – 857132C Page 8 of 8 , which is/are known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to http://www.P65Warnings.ca.gov. Chloroform CAS-No. 67-66-3 Revision Date 2011-09-01 16. OTHER INFORMATION Full text of H-Statements referred to under sections 2 and 3. Acute Tox. Acute toxicity Aquatic Acute Acute aquatic toxicity Carc. Carcinogenicity Eye Irrit. Eye irritation H302 Harmful if swallowed. H315 Causes skin irritation. H319 Causes serious eye irritation. H331 Toxic if inhaled. H336 May cause drowsiness or dizziness. H351 Suspected of causing cancer. H361d Suspected of damaging the unborn child. H372 Causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure. H402 Harmful to aquatic life. Repr. Reproductive toxicity Skin Irrit. Skin irritation STOT RE Specific target organ toxicity – repeated exposure STOT SE Specific target organ toxicity – single exposure HMIS Rating Health hazard: 2 Chronic Health Hazard: * Flammability: 0 Physical Hazard 0 NFPA Rating Health hazard: 2 Fire Hazard: 0 Reactivity Hazard: 0 Further information Copyright 2016 Sigma-Aldrich Co. LLC. License granted to make unlimited paper copies for internal use only. The above information is believed to be correct but does not purport to be all inclusive and shall be used only as a guide. The information in this document is based on the present state of our knowledge and is applicable to the product with regard to appropriate safety precautions. It does not represent any guarantee of the properties of the product. Sigma-Aldrich Corporation and its Affiliates shall not be held liable for any damage resulting from handling or from contact with the above product. See http://www.sigma-aldrich.com and/or the reverse side of invoice or packing slip for additional terms and conditions of sale. Preparation Information Sigma-Aldrich Corporation Product Safety – Americas Region 1-800-521-8956 Version: 5.1 Revision Date: 05/16/2018 Print Date: 11/15/2018


What Is Tromethamine?

Tromethamine is a synthetic skincare and cosmetic ingredient that is used as a pH adjuster and a fragrance ingredient.

Tromethamine, also known as tris or THAM, is an organic amine proton acceptor, with substitution at the 2 position. It is frequently used in biochemistry and molecular biology as a component of buffer solutions. Basically tromethamine works by adjusting the pH or the level of acidity of a product to improve the stability and efficacy. 

Additionally, tromethamine is used in the synthesis of surfactants and pharmaceuticals, and also as an emulsifying agent for mineral oil and paraffin wax emulsions, leather dressings, textile specialties, polishes, and cleaning compounds. In the medical field, tromethamine is occasionally used as a drug. 

It can be administered in intensive care for its properties as a buffer to treat severe metabolic acidosis in specific circumstances. Furthermore, some medications are formulated as the “tromethamine salt”, such as ketorolac tromethamine.


Tromethamine is extensively used in biochemistry and molecular biology. Because tromethamine (in the form of R-NH2) is a proton acceptor with a pK of 7.8, it is an effective buffer that can be used to maintain the pH of body fluids. Tromethamine is indicated for the prevention and correction of metabolic acidosis. When administered intravenously as a 0.3 M solution, tromethamine acts as a proton acceptor and prevents or corrects acidosis by actively binding hydrogen ions (H+). It binds not only cations of fixed or metabolic acids, but also hydrogen ions of carbonic acid, thus increasing bicarbonate anion (HCO3‾). TromeThamine also acts as an osmotic diuretic, increasing urine flow, urinary pH, and excretion of fixed acids, carbon dioxide and electrolytes. A significant fraction of tromethamine (30% at pH 7.40) is not ionized and therefore is capable of reaching equilibrium in total body water. This portion may penetrate cells and may neutralize acidic ions of the intracellular fluid.



Tromethamine is a proton acceptor used for the prevention and correction of metabolic acidosis associated with various clinical conditions, such as cardiac bypass surgery.

Generic Name


DrugBank Accession Number



An organic amine proton acceptor. It is used in the synthesis of surface-active agents and pharmaceuticals; as an emulsifying agent for cosmetic creams and lotions, mineral oil and paraffin wax emulsions, as a biological buffer, and used as an alkalizer. (From Merck, 11th ed; Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p1424)


Small Molecule






 Similar Structures


Average: 121.135
Monoisotopic: 121.073893223

Chemical Formula



  • THAM
  • Tris
  • Trometamol
  • Tromethamine

THAM SOLUTION Tromethamine Injection For the Prevention and Correction of Severe Metabolic Acidosis Large Volume Glass Container DESCRIPTION Tham Solution (tromethamine injection) is a sterile, nonpyrogenic 0.3 M solution of tromethamine, adjusted to a pH of approximately 8.6 with glacial acetic acid. It is administered by intravenous injection, by addition to ACD blood for priming cardiac bypass equipment and by injection into the ventricular cavity during cardiac arrest. Each 100 mL contains tromethamine 3.6 g (30 mEq) in water for injection. The solution is hypertonic 389 mOsmol/L (calc.). pH 8.6 (8.4-8.7). The solution contains no bacteriostat, antimicrobial agent or added buffer (except acetic acid for pH adjustment) and is intended only for use as a single-dose injection. When smaller doses are required the unused portion should be discarded. Tham solution is a parenteral systemic alkalizer and fluid replenisher. Tromethamine, USP (sometimes called “tris” or “tris buffer”) is chemically designated 2-amino-2- (hydroxymethyl)-1, 3-propanediol, a solid readily soluble in water, also classified as an organic amine buffer. It has the following structural formula: Water for Injection, USP is chemically designated H20. CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY When administered intravenously as a 0.3 M solution, tromethamine act as a proton acceptor and prevents or corrects acidosis by actively binding hydrogen ions (H+ ). It binds not only cations of fixed or metabolic acids, but also hydrogen ions of carbonic acid, thus increasing bicarbonate anion (HCO3 –). Tromethamine also acts as an osmotic diuretic, increasing urine flow, urinary pH, and excretion of fixed acids, carbon dioxide and electrolytes. A significant fraction of tromethamine (30% at pH 7.40) is not ionized and therefore is capable of reaching equilibrium in total body water. This portion may penetrate cells and may neutralize acidic ions of the intracellular fluid. The drug is rapidly eliminated by the kidney; 75% or more appears in the urine after eight hours. Urinary excretion continues over a period of three days. Water is an essential constituent of all body tissues and accounts for approximately 70% of total body weight. Average normal adult daily requirement ranges from two to three liters (1.0 to 1.5 liters each for insensible water loss by perspiration and urine production). Water balance is maintained by various regulatory mechanisms. Water distribution depends primarily on the concentration of electrolytes in the body compartments and sodium (Na+ ) plays a major role in maintaining physiologic equilibrium. INDICATIONS AND USAGE Tham Solution (tromethamine injection) is indicated for the prevention and correction of metabolic acidosis. In the following conditions it may help to sustain vital functions and thus provide time for treatment of the primary disease: 1. Metabolic Acidosis Associated with Cardiac Bypass Surgery. Tham Solution has been found to be primarily beneficial in correcting metabolic acidosis which may occur during or immediately following cardiac bypass surgical procedures. 2. Correction of Acidity of ACD Blood in Cardiac Bypass Surgery. It is well known that ACD blood is acidic and becomes more acidic on storage. Tromethamine effectively corrects this acidity. Tham Solution may be added directly to the blood used to prime the pump-oxygenator. When ACD blood is brought to a normal pH range the patient is spared an initial acid load. Additional tromethamine may be indicated during cardiac bypass surgery should metabolic acidosis appear. 3. Metabolic Acidosis Associated with Cardiac Arrest. Acidosis is nearly always one of the consequences of cardiac arrest and, in some instances, may even be a causative factor in arrest. It is important therefore, that the correction of acidosis should be started promptly with other resuscitative efforts. By correcting acidosis, Tham Solution (tromethamine injection) has caused the arrested heart to respond to resuscitative efforts after standard methods alone had failed. In these cases, tromethamine was given intraventricularly. It is to be noted, however, that such precariously ill patients often have died subsequently of causes unrelated to the administration of tromethamine. With administration by the peripheral venous route, metabolic acidosis has been corrected in a majority of patients. The success in reinstitution of cardiac rhythm by this means probably has not been of the same order of magnitude as with the intraventricular route. CONTRAINDICATIONS Tham Solution (tromethamine injection) is contraindicated in uremia and anuria. In neonates it is also contraindicated in chronic respiratory acidosis and salicylate intoxication. WARNINGS 1. Large doses of Tham Solution may depress ventilation, as a result of increased blood pH and reduced CO2 concentration. Thus, dosage should be adjusted so that blood pH is not allowed to increase above normal. In situations in which respiratory acidosis may be present concomitantly with metabolic acidosis, the drug may be used with mechanical assistance to ventilation. 2. Care must be exercised to prevent perivascular infiltration since this can cause inflammation, necrosis and sloughing of tissue. Venospasm and intravenous thrombosis, which may occur during infusion, can be minimized by insuring that the injection needle is well within the largest available vein and that solutions are slowly infused. Intravenous catheters are recommended. If perivascular infiltration occurs, institute appropriate countermeasures. See ADVERSE REACTIONS. 3. Tham Solution (tromethamine injection) should be administered slowly and in amounts sufficient only to correct the existing acidosis, and to avoid overdosage and alkalosis. Overdosage in terms of total drug and/or too rapid administration, may cause hypoglycemia of a prolonged duration (several hours). Therefore, frequent blood glucose determinations should be made during and after therapy. 4. Extreme care should be exercised in patients with renal disease or reduced urinary output because of potential hyperkalemia and the possibility of a decreased excretion of tromethamine. In such patients, the drug should be used cautiously with electrocardiographic monitoring and frequent serum potassium determinations.

5. Because clinical experience has been limited generally to short-term use, the drug should not be administered for more than a period of one day except in a lifethreatening situation. The intravenous administration of Tham Solution can cause fluid and/or solute overloading resulting in dilution of serum electrolyte concentrations, overhydration, congested states or pulmonary edema. Additives may be incompatible. Consult with pharmacist, if available. When introducing additives, use aseptic technique, mix thoroughly and do not store. PRECAUTIONS 1. Blood pH, PCO2 bicarbonate, glucose and electrolyte determinations should be performed before, during and after administration of Tham Solution. 2. While it has not been shown that the drug increases coagulation time in humans, this possibility should be kept in mind since this has been noted experimentally in dogs. Do not administer unless solution is clear and seal is intact. Discard unused portion. Pregnancy Category C: Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with tromethamine. It is also not known whether tromethamine can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. Tromethamine should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed. Nursing Mothers: It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when THAM Solution is administered to a nursing mother. Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility: Studies with THAM Solution have not been performed to evaluate carcinogenic potential, mutagenic potential or effects on fertility. Pediatric Use: The safety and effectiveness of THAM Solution in pediatric patients is based on over 30 years’ clinical experience documented in the literature and on safety surveillance. THAM Solution has been used to treat severe cases of metabolic acidosis with concurrent respiratory acidosis because it does not raise PCO2 as bicarbonate does in neonates and infants with respiratory failure. It has also been used in neonates and infants with hypernatremia and metabolic acidosis to avoid the additional sodium given with the bicarbonate. However, because the osmotic effects of THAM Solution are greater and large continuous doses are required, bicarbonate is preferred to THAM Solution in the treatment of acidotic neonates and infants with RDS. Hypoglycemia may occur when this product is used in premature and even full-term neonates. See WARNINGS and ADVERSE REACTIONS.

tromethamine hydrochloride,

Trometamol hydrochloride (Tromethamine hydrochloride) is a biologically inert amino alcohol of low toxicity, which buffers carbon dioxide and acids in vitro and in vivo. Trometamol hydrochloride is an effective amine compound for pH control in the physiological range[1].

Trometamol hydrochloride (Tromethamine hydrochloride) is a biologically inert amino alcohol of low toxicity, which buffers carbon dioxide and acids in vitro and in vivo. Trometamol hydrochloride is an effective amine compound for pH control in the physiological range.

What class of drug is tromethamine?

TORADOL (ketorolac tromethamine) is a member of the pyrrolo-pyrrole group of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

acetic acid,

Acetic acid is the second simplest carboxylic acid (after formic acid). It is an important chemical reagent and industrial chemical, used primarily in the production of cellulose acetate for photographic film, polyvinyl acetate for wood glue, and synthetic fibres and fabrics.

Acetic acid

Chemical compound



Acetic acid, systematically named ethanoic acid, is a colourless liquid organic compound with the chemical formula CH₃COOH. Vinegar is no less than 4% acetic acid by volume, making acetic acid the main component of vinegar apart from water. Acetic acid is the second simplest carboxylic acid. Wikipedia


Molar mass60.052 g/mol

IUPAC IDAcetic acid

Boiling point244.4°F (118°C)

Density1.05 g/cm³

Melting point61.88°F (16.6°C)

Acetic acid can be a hazardous chemical if not used in a safe and appropriate manner. This liquid is highly corrosive to the skin and eyes and, because of this, must be handled with extreme care. Acetic acid can also be damaging to the internal organs if ingested or in the case of vapor inhalation.

Acetic acid

PubChem CID176
Structure Find Similar Structures
Chemical Safety     Laboratory Chemical Safety Summary (LCSS) Datasheet
Molecular FormulaC2H4O2 or CH3COOH
Synonymsacetic acid ethanoic acid 64-19-7 Ethylic acid Acetic acid, glacial More…
Molecular Weight60.05 g/mol
DatesModify 2021-05-01 Create 2004-09-16
Acetic Acid is a synthetic carboxylic acid with antibacterial and antifungal properties. Although its mechanism of action is not fully known, undissociated acetic acid may enhance lipid solubility allowing increased fatty acid accumulation on the cell membrane or in other cell wall structures. Acetic acid, as a weak acid, can inhibit carbohydrate metabolism resulting in subsequent death of the organism. NCI Thesaurus (NCIt) Acetic acid is a simple monocarboxylic acid containing two carbons. It has a role as a protic solvent, a food acidity regulator, an antimicrobial food preservative and a Daphnia magna metabolite. It is a conjugate acid of an acetate. ChEBI Acetic acid, glacial appears as a clear colorless liquid with a strong odor of vinegar. Flash point 104°F. Density 8.8 lb / gal. Corrosive to metals and tissue. Used to make other chemicals, as a food additive, and in petroleum production.

sodium acetate trihydrate,

Sodium acetate trihydrate is a hydrate. … The trihydrate sodium salt of acetic acid, which is used as a source of sodium ions in solutions for dialysis and as a systemic and urinary alkalizer, diuretic, and expectorant.

Description: Sodium acetate trihydrate is a hyd…

Chemical Safety: Laboratory Chemical Safety …

Sodium Acetate is an electrolyte replenisher used as a source of sodium, for addition to intravenous (IV) fluids to prevent or correct low levels of sodium in the blood (hyponatremia). Sodium acetate is available in generic form. Common side effects of sodium acetate include:

  • sodium overload
  • excessive hydration
  • dilution of other serum electrolyte concentrations
  • fluid in the lungs, or
  • low levels of blood potassium (hypokalemia)

Sodium Acetate Injection is administered intravenously only after dilution in a larger volume of fluid. The dose and rate of administration depends on the individual needs of the patient. Sodium Acetate may interact with other drugs. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. During pregnancy, Sodium Acetate should be used only if prescribed. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Sodium Acetate Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

and sucrose.

Sep 22, 2020 — Sucrose is a naturally occurring sugar found in various amounts in plants like fruits, vegetables and nuts. Sucrose is also produced commercially from sugar cane and sugar beets.

Table sugar



Sucrose is common sugar. It is a disaccharide, a molecule composed of two monosaccharides: glucose and fructose. Sucrose is produced naturally in plants, from which table sugar is refined. It has the molecular formula C₁₂H₂₂O₁₁. Wikipedia

Molar mass342.3 g/mol


Melting point366.8°F (186°C)

Density1.59 g/cm³

Soluble inWater

IUPAC ID(2R,3R,4S,5S,6R)-2-[(2S,3S,4S,5R)-3,4-dihydroxy-2,5-bis(hydroxymethyl)oxolan-2-yl]oxy-6-(hydroxymethyl)oxane-3,4,5-triol, MORE

Disaccharides are made up of two, linked monosaccharides and broken back down into the latter during digestion (1Trusted Source).

Sucrose is a disaccharide consisting of one glucose and one fructose molecule, or 50% glucose and 50% fructose.

It’s a naturally occurring carbohydrate found in many fruits, vegetables and grains, but it’s also added to many processed foods, such as candy, ice cream, breakfast cereals, canned foods, soda and other sweetened beverages.

Table sugar and the sucrose found in processed foods are commonly extracted from sugar cane or sugar beets.

Sucrose tastes less sweet than fructose but sweeter than glucose (2Trusted Source).


Glucose is a simple sugar or monosaccharide. It’s your body’s preferred carb-based energy source (1Trusted Source).

Monosaccharides are made up of one single unit of sugar and thus cannot be broken down into simpler compounds.

They’re the building blocks of carbohydrates.

In foods, glucose is most commonly bound to another simple sugar to form either polysaccharide starches or disaccharides, such as sucrose and lactose (1Trusted Source).

It’s often added to processed foods in the form of dextrose, which is extracted from cornstarch.

Glucose is less sweet than fructose and sucrose (2Trusted Source).


Fructose, or “fruit sugar,” is a monosaccharide like glucose (1Trusted Source).

It’s naturally found in fruit, honey, agave and most root vegetables. Moreover, it’s commonly added to processed foods in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.

Fructose is sourced from sugar cane, sugar beets and corn. High-fructose corn syrup is made from cornstarch and contains more fructose than glucose, compared to regular corn syrup (3Trusted Source).

Of the three sugars, fructose has the sweetest taste but least impact on your blood sugar (2Trusted Source).


Sucrose is made up of the simple sugars glucose and fructose. Sucrose, glucose and fructose are found naturally in many foods but also added to processed products.

They’re Digested and Absorbed Differently

Your body digests and absorbs monosaccharides and disaccharides differently.

Since monosaccharides are already in their simplest form, they don’t need to be broken down before your body can use them. They’re absorbed directly into your bloodstream, primarily in your small intestine (4Trusted Source).

On the other hand, disaccharides like sucrose must be broken down into simple sugars before they can be absorbed.

Once the sugars are in their simplest form, they’re metabolized differently.

Glucose Absorption and Use

Glucose is absorbed directly across the lining of the small intestine into your bloodstream, which delivers it to your cells (4Trusted Source5Trusted Source).

It raises blood sugar more quickly than other sugars, which stimulates the release of insulin (6Trusted Source).

Insulin is needed for glucose to enter your cells (7Trusted Source).

Once inside your cells, glucose is either used immediately to create energy or turned into glycogen to be stored in your muscles or liver for future use (8Trusted Source9Trusted Source).

Your body tightly controls your blood sugar levels. When they get too low, glycogen is broken down into glucose and released into your blood to be used for energy (9Trusted Source).

If glucose is unavailable, your liver can make this type of sugar from other fuel sources (9Trusted Source).

Fructose Absorption and Use

Like glucose, fructose is absorbed directly into your bloodstream from the small intestine (4Trusted Source5Trusted Source).

It raises blood sugar levels more gradually than glucose and does not appear to immediately impact insulin levels (6Trusted Source10Trusted Source).

However, even though fructose doesn’t raise your blood sugar right away, it may have more long-term negative effects.

Your liver has to convert fructose into glucose before your body can use it for energy.

Eating large amounts of fructose on a high-calorie diet can raise blood triglyceride levels (11Trusted Source).

Excessive fructose intake may also raise the risk of metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (12Trusted Source).

Sucrose Absorption and Use

Since sucrose is a disaccharide, it must be broken down before your body can use it.

Enzymes in your mouth partially break down sucrose into glucose and fructose. However, the majority of sugar digestion happens in the small intestine (4Trusted Source).

The enzyme sucrase, which is made by the lining of your small intestine, splits sucrose into glucose and fructose. They are then absorbed into your bloodstream as described above (4Trusted Source).

The presence of glucose increases the amount of fructose that is absorbed and also stimulates the release of insulin. This means that more fructose is used to create fat, compared to when this type of sugar is eaten alone (13Trusted Source).

Therefore, eating fructose and glucose together may harm your health more than eating them separately. This may explain why added sugars like high-fructose corn syrup are linked to various health issues.


Glucose and fructose are absorbed directly into your bloodstream, while sucrose must be broken down first. Glucose is used for energy or stored as glycogen. Fructose is converted to glucose or stored as fat.

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