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DMSO - Dimethyl Sulfoxide Facts

14 May, 2024 2
Dimethyl sulfoxide

Are you ready to learn about Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and its almost magical abilities?

The Physical and Biological Side of DMSO

Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is an organosulfur compound with the formula (CH3)2SO. It was discovered from pine trees and has been known for its versatility since then. Chemical Properties of Dimethyl Sulfoxide This colourless liquid is an important polar aprotic solvent that dissolves both polar and nonpolar compounds and is miscible in a wide range of organic solvents and water.

It has a relatively high boiling point. DMSO has the unusual property that many individuals perceive a garlic-like taste in the mouth after contact with the skin. That is due to the presence of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMS).


DMSO - Dimethyl Sulfoxide Facts

Dimethyl sulfoxide is oxidized in the marine atmosphere to various sulfur-containing compounds, such as dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO).

Industrial grades of DMSO have higher quantities of dimethyl sulfoxide; thus, the garlic taste is reported. To prevent this odour, DMSO can be refined through an extraction process to remove dimethyl sulfoxide and any other contaminating agent to render it odourless.

In terms of chemical structure, the molecule has idealized Cs symmetry. It has a trigonal pyramidal molecular geometry consistent with other three-coordinate S(IV) compounds, with a nonbonded electron pair on the approximately tetrahedral sulfur atom.


DMSO is a chemical formulation with the molecular formula - (CH3)2SO. It is a chemical and highly medicinal substance (medical DMSO), which is used as a pain reducer or removal in some cases, as well as a treatment of various kinds of disease infections.

The IUPAC name is Methylsulfinyl-methane, and it’s a well-known industrial duo tropical solvent.

The chemical molecular structure of DMSO is bipolar (water-loving and fat-loving poles).


Research suggests that it freezes at a temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit, with a molecular weight of 78.3. Its solubility in water is high, making it readily dissolvable. Customarily, it is best to use medical DMSO as a medicine for its medicinal properties only after a medical professional prescribes it.

DMSO belongs to the class 3 solvents; no reports of harm have been found after using both industrial and medical DMSO. Surprisingly, DMSO is derived without artificial support, as despite being a by-product of the paper manufacturing industry, it is also found in plants and body cells, which aid detoxification.


Biological Origin of dimethyl sulfoxide

A great part of DMS (Dimethyl sulphide) is exhaled by the plant phytoplankton, which belongs to the plankton species and has some marine origin. This exhaled dimethyl sulphide evaporates into the Earth’s atmosphere. There, it corrodes to form DMSO, and this DMSO comes back to land in the form of rain. Since we’re talking about its physical, chemical and biological properties, let’s talk about how DMSO reacts to extreme temperatures, considering its use as a medicine.


Physical Properties of  this Wonder Drug - sulfoxide

 Studies have shown that a place’s climate condition affects the state of this wonderful healing drug. DMSO in the liquid form is said to be highly temperature-sensitive as reports arise of it converting to its crystal form from its liquid state in cold climates. One must make sure to store their bottle of DMSO in a warm place. That should be enough to preserve it in its liquid state.

If DMSO happens to crystallise, the bottle can be placed in a waterproof bag and sealed. The waterproof bag can then be put in warm water to reverse it from its crystalline state to its liquid form. It is dangerous to heat DMSO directly. Never put it near a fire or put it in the microwave.

It would simply render the medical DMSO useless and kill its efficacy. To conclude, considering medical DMSO's wonderful chemical and biological composition, each research continues to beat our expectations of what a by-product solvent can do independently. Its medical and industrial uses remain super utilitarian.

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