ChEBI: A polymer composed of PEG-ylated sorbitan, where the total number of poly(ethylene glycol) units is 20 (w + x + y + z = 20) and a single terminal is capped by a dodecanoyl group.
Tween 20 (ICI Americas).
Pharmaceutic aid (surfactant).
Tween 20, whose common commercial names includes Alkest TW 20 and Polysorbate 20, is a mild nonionic surfactant formed by the ethoxylation of sorbitan before the addition of lauric acid which is a medium-chain fatty acid found mainly in coconut oil. It is allowed to be used as the emulsifier, detergent, dispersant, solvent and stabilizer, etc. in a number of fields such as pharmaceutical, chemical, food, textile and other industries due to its stability and relative non-toxicity.
Tween 20 is widely applied in biological techniques and sciences, which can be added to buffers and reagents for immunohistochemistry, such as Western blots and ELISAs, helping to prevent non-specific antibody binding, decrease background staining and enhance reagent spreading. Besides, Tween 20 also has applications in food production as a common food grade additive which are found in many consumables on the market today. It can also be used as a wetting agent in flavored mouth drops such as Ice Drops, in oral or non-gastrointestinal suspensions and in rubber balers in the elastomer industry.