Zwitterionic biodetergents have characteristics of both ionic and non-ionic detergent types. Its headgroups are hydrophilic and contain both positive and negative charges in equal numbers, resulting in zero net charge. Zwitterionic detergents are less denaturing proteins than ionic detergents by protecting the native charge of protein molecules like nonionic detergents but are more harsh surfactants. They are more efficient than non-ionic detergents at disrupting protein-protein bonds and reducing aggregation. These properties have been used for chromatography, mass spectrometry, and electrophoresis methods, and solubilization of integral membrane proteins.
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