Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)

Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is an organosulfur compound with the chemical formula C2H6OS. It is a colorless liquid that is hygroscopic and miscible with water and a wide range of organic solvents. DAWN SCI Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is a potent solvent with diverse applications. In this blog post, we will explore the description, production methods, uses/applications, and benefits of Dimethyl sulfoxide.

What is Dimethyl Sulfoxide?

Dimethyl sulfoxide, also known as Methyl Sulfoxide, DMSO, and Sulfinyl bismethane, is a clear colorless liquid that has the ability to absorb moisture from the air. Dimethyl sulfoxide can dissolve in water as well as in numerous organic solvents like diethyl ether, ethanol, acetone, ether, carbon tetrachloride, and ethyl acetate. With the chemical formula C2H6OS, it acts as a crucial polar aprotic solvent due to its unique capability to dissolve both polar and non-polar substances. Dimethyl sulfoxide possesses a relatively high boiling point and is widely used as a solvent in various chemical reactions due to its aprotic nature, inertness, non-toxicity, and stability at high temperatures. Moreover, this powerful solvent finds diverse applications, even in household settings.

Production methods for Dimethyl sulfoxide :

Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is typically produced on an industrial scale and its methods are as follows:

  1. Oxidation of Dimethyl Sulfide (DMS): The most common method for producing Dimethyl sulfoxide involves the oxidation of dimethyl sulfide (DMS), a byproduct of the kraft process in paper manufacturing. DMS is oxidized using an oxidizing agent such as oxygen or nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) to form Dimethyl sulfoxide.
  1. Synthesis from Methyl Sulfoxide: A less common method involves the reaction of methyl sulfoxide with another methyl group source. Methyl sulfoxide and a methylating agent such as methyl chloride reacted to form Dimethyl sulfoxide.

After the synthesis, Dimethyl sulfoxide undergoes purification to achieve the desired level of purity suitable for industrial, pharmaceutical, or household use.

Applications of Dimethyl Sulfoxide

Dimethyl Sulfoxide is a versatile and widely used solvent with applications ranging from chemical synthesis and pharmaceutical formulations to biological research and medical treatments.

  • As a potential cancer treatment: Some laboratory studies have indicated that DMSO might slow down the progression of cancer; however, clinical studies have not yet been conducted.
  • For the treatment of chemotherapy extravasations (chemotherapy leakage and entrapment in surrounding tissue): Dimethyl sulfoxide may be employed in a hospital setting to address this condition.
  • To alleviate pain: The application of Dimethyl sulfoxide to the skin seems to alleviate pain in humans.
  • For the treatment of arthritis and osteoarthritis: Several studies demonstrate that the application of Dimethyl sulfoxide to the skin reduces pain and inflammation in humans; nevertheless, further studies are required to determine the optimal dosage.
  • For the treatment of interstitial cystitis (inflammation and pain of the bladder of unknown origin): Intravesical Dimethyl sulfoxide is an accepted treatment for interstitial cystitis; however, additional studies are necessary to establish its use.
  • For anti-fungal treatments: Dimethyl sulfoxide can be utilized to treat toenail fungus by enhancing the penetration of antifungal agents through the nail.
  • In the field of cell biology: Dimethyl sulfoxide is employed to induce differentiation in cell cultures and as a solvent for various reagents.
  • As a cryoprotectant: Dimethyl sulfoxide is commonly employed as a cryoprotectant to prevent cell and tissue damage during freezing. It is utilized in the preservation of cells, tissues, and organs for medical and research purposes.

Benefits of Dimethyl Sulfoxide:

  • Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) offers several benefits when used in a household setting:
    • Pure, heavy metal free, Not Diluted – No Added Water
    • Effective pain relief
    • Relieving pain, inflammation in Arthritis
    • Skin and Minor Wound Treatment
    • Useful in Cancer treatment
    • Useful in Chemotherapy side effects
    • Interstitial cystitis
    • Eco-friendly
    • Effective cleaning agent

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