A chaotropic agent is a compound which disrupts hydrogen bonding in aqueous solution,
leading to increased entropy (i.e. chaos). Generally, this reduces the hydrophobic
effects that are essential for three dimensional structures of macromolecules such as
proteins and nucleic acids.
Commonly used chaotropic agents include guanidine or urea, which cause denaturing
or unfolding of macromolecules.
When used in GFC, chaotropic agents can be used in the mobile phase to determine
molecular weight of denatured proteins.