Non-detergent sulfobetaines (NDSBs) contain a short hydrophobic group and can form micelles even at 1 M concentration. This ability makes NDSBs unique from other common detergents used in protein extraction. NDSBs are a group of zwitterionic compounds that can reduce protein aggregation and aid in refolding. NDSBs have been show to increase the yield of membrane associated proteins.
NDSBs gained popularity in the 1990s for their ability to solubilize proteins. They are zwitterionic over a wide pH range from 3 to 12 meaning that do not bear a charge in most biochemical applications.
NDSBs have been used in protein crystallization and have appeared in a number of deposited structures.