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Dimethyl sulfoxide

for molecular biology

Methylsulfinylmethane, Molecular Biology Grade DMSO, DMSO, Methyl Sulfoxide
Linear Formula:
CAS Number:
Molecular Weight:
EC Number:
MDL number:
PubChem Substance ID:


for molecular biology

vapor density

2.7 (vs air)

vapor pressure

0.42 mmHg ( 20 °C)

product line






autoignition temp.

573 °F

shelf life

Recommended retest period - 2 years

expl. lim.

42 %, 63 °F


DNA sequencing: suitable
PCR: suitable
transfection: suitable


≤0.001 meq/g Titratable acid
≤0.1% water (Karl Fischer)



refractive index

n20/D 1.479 (lit.)


189 °C (lit.)


16-19 °C (lit.)


H2O: miscible (completely)


1.10 g/mL (lit.)


passes test


suitable for molecular biology

foreign activity

DNase and RNase, none detected

storage temp.

room temp

SMILES string




InChI key


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General description

Features and Benefits:

  • Suitable for Molecular Applications
  • Nuclease-Free DMSO
  • DNase-Free, RNase-Free, Protease-Free, Phosphatase-Free
  • Molecular Biology Grade DMSO

Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is a highly polar organic reagent that has exceptional solvent properties for organic and inorganic chemicals.
This product is designated as Molecular Biology grade and is suitable for molecular biology applications. It has been analyzed for the presence of nucleases and proteases.


DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) is a highly polar, aprotic organic solvent with many applications in organic chemistry and molecular biology. DMSO is routinely used in

  • polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
  • amplification of cDNA libraries
  • DNA sequencing
  • column-loading buffers for poly(A)+ RNA selection
  • buffers for the transformation of competent E. coli
  • transfection protocols.

Dimethyl sulfoxide has been used-

  • as an oligonucleotide solvent in array spotting[1]
  • as a solvent during miRNA microarray analysis and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR)
  • for cell lysis during MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay
  • for the preparation of the stock solution during MMP (mitochondrial membrane potential)cytofluorimetric assessment
  • in the storage of human and animal cell lines and bacteriophage λ as a cryoprotective agent.
To prepare a sterile filtered DMSO solution, it is recommended to use a PTFE or nylon membrane. Cellulose acetate membranes are not recommended.


1 L in glass bottle
50, 100, 250, 500 mL in glass bottle

Features and Benefits

This product is free from DNases, RNases, phosphatases and proteases.


Supercools easily and remelts slowly at room temperature. Solidified product can be re-liquified by warming to room temperature without detriment to the product.

Storage Class Code

10 - Combustible liquids



Flash Point(F)

188.6 °F - closed cup

Flash Point(C)

87 °C - closed cup

Personal Protective Equipment

dust mask type N95 (US), Eyeshields, Gloves

Certificate of Analysis

Enter Lot Number to search for Certificate of Analysis (COA).

Certificate of Origin

Enter Lot Number to search for Certificate of Origin (COO).

  1. How does the storage temperature relate to shipping conditions?

    The storage conditions that a Sigma-Aldrich catalog and label recommend for products are deliberately conservative. For many products, long-term storage at low temperatures will increase the time during which they are expected to remain in specification and therefore are labeled accordingly. Where short-term storage, shipping time frame, or exposure to conditions other than those recommended for long-term storage will not affect product quality, Sigma-Aldrich will ship at ambient temperature. The products sensitive to short-term exposure to conditions other than their recommended long-term storage are shipped on wet or dry ice. Ambient temperature shipping helps to control shipping costs for our customers. At any time, our customers can request wet- or dry-ice shipment, but the special handling is at customer expense if our product history indicates that the product is stable for regular shipment. See Shipping and Storage for more information.

  2. What is the molarity of DMSO?

    DMSO will have a molarity of 14.1M, based on a density of 1.1 g/mL and a molecular weight of 78.13 g/mol.

  3. What is the DMSO dissolved in?

    DMSO is not dissolved in any solvent. It is a pure chemical compound that is a liquid at room temperature.

  4. Where does DMSO come from?

    DMSO is known to have been isolated from tree bark in the past. It is now a commericially synthesized solvent.

  5. Does DMSO have any synthetic utility?

    DMSO has been used to oxidize thiols and disulfides to sulfonic acids, hydrolysis of epoxides, thioalkylation of phenols, and oxidation of primary alcohols and halides, and esters of primary alcohols to aldehydes.

  6. Which document(s) contains shelf-life or expiration date information for a given product?

    If available for a given product, the recommended re-test date or the expiration date can be found on the Certificate of Analysis.

  7. Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) should be a liquid.  Why did it arrive as a solid?

    DMSO supercools easily, and re-melts slowly at room temperature. The melting point is 16-19 °C. The solidified product can be re-liquefied by warming to room temperature without detriment to the product.

  8. How do I get lot-specific information or a Certificate of Analysis?

    The lot specific COA document can be found by entering the lot number above under the "Documents" section.

  9. How do I find price and availability?

    There are several ways to find pricing and availability for our products. Once you log onto our website, you will find the price and availability displayed on the product detail page. You can contact any of our Customer Sales and Service offices to receive a quote.  USA customers:  1-800-325-3010 or view local office numbers.

  10. Is Dimethyl sulfoxide a sterile product?

    No, this product is not considered sterile.  Product Nos. D2560 and D2438 are sterile-filtered.

  11. What is the Department of Transportation shipping information for this product?

    Transportation information can be found in Section 14 of the product's (M)SDS.To access the shipping information for this material, use the link on the product detail page for the product. 

  12. What can I use to solubilize Product D8418, Dimethyl sulfoxide?

    This product is miscible in water (1 mL DMSO + 1 mL H2O), yielding a clear, colorless solution. DMSO is a very hygroscopic liquid and should protected from exposure to moisture. DMSO is also miscible with ethanol, acetone, ether, benzene, and chloroform.

  13. Is Product D8418, Dimethyl sulfoxide, stable under extreme conditions?

    DMSO is stable up to 100°C in alkaline, acidic and neutral conditions. At temperatures approaching its boiling point, DMSO is stable in neutral or alkaline conditions.

  14. Is Product D8418, Dimethyl sulfoxide, assayed for DNase, RNase and protease?

    Yes. It is a molecular biology grade product, and it is tested for DNase, RNase and protease. For a lot to pass none of those enzymes may be detected.

  15. Why is Product D8418, Dimethyl sulfoxide, considered as an exceptional organic solvent?

    Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is a highly polar organic reagent that has exceptional solvent properties for organic and inorganic chemicals.

  16. With what materials is Product D8418, Dimethyl sulfoxide, compatible?

    The compatibility of DMSO with various materials is listed here: Compatible: LDPE, HDPE, polypropylene, PPCO (polypropylene copolymer), polymethylpentene, nylon, PTFE (Teflon) and FEP. Moderately compatible: polystyrene, ECTFE/ETFE. Incompatible: polysulfone, flexible and rigid PVC tubing, polycarbonate.

  17. DMSO, Product D8418 Dimethyl sulfoxide, is used to freeze and store human and animal cell lines. Is there a procedure for it?

    The procedure to freeze cells is in the product information sheet (under Documents, above).

  18. I received Product D8418, Dimethyl sulfoxide, as a frozen solid. But isn't it supposed to be in the liquid state?

    DMSO super cools easily and remelts slowly at room temperature. The product may arrive as a solid instead of a liquid. The solidified product can be reliquified by warming to room temperature without detriment to the product.

  19. My question is not addressed here, how can I contact Technical Service for assistance?

    Ask a Scientist here.

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