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Biotechniques. 1992 Jun;12(6):870-4, 876-9.

CHELATOR: an improved method for computing metal ion concentrations in physiological solutions.

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Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


An algorithm is presented for the calculation of metal ion concentrations from given total metal concentrations (and vice versa) in physiological media containing metal-chelating compounds. In such media, conditions differ from those used for stability constant determination of metal-chelator equilibria; therefore calculated metal ion concentrations are incorrect. We recompute stability constants to reflect the effects of ionic strength and temperature of physiological solutions. Twelve different equilibria can be considered per metal-chelator pair. The computer program also calculates the contribution of ionized species of metals, chelator, complexes and pH buffers to ionic strength. Measurements with a Ca-selective electrode and with fura-2 show that calculated ionic Ca2+ concentrations are correct from 10 nM up to the millimolar range. The importance of the correct calculation of metal ion concentrations in physiological experiments is demonstrated by data, and derived kinetic parameters, on Na+/Ca2+ exchange and the ATP-dependent Ca2+ pump of enterocyte plasma membrane vesicles. The program is written in Turbo Pascal and will run on IBM-compatible computers. It is menu-driven and supports the use of a Microsoft mouse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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