It is used in cell biology to permeablise cell membranes, so that proteins produced within the cell can be measured.

Any of a group of glycosides produced by plants that foam in water; saponins are used as foaming agents in beverages, as emulsifiers, and in detergents.

From the BioTech Dictionary at For further information see the BioTech homenode.

Sap"o*nin (?), n. [L. sapo, -onis soap: cf. F. saponine.] Chem.

A poisonous glucoside found in many plants, as in the root of soapwort (Saponaria), in the bark of soap bark (Quillaia), etc. It is extracted as a white amorphus powder, which occasions a soapy lather in solution, and produces a local anaestesia. Formerly called also struthiin, quilaiin, senegin, polygalic acid, etc. By extension, any one of a group of related bodies of which saponin proper is the type.


© Webster 1913.

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