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Cholesterol and its hemisuccinate and sulfate derivatives are widely used in studies of purified membrane proteins but are difficult to solubilize in aqueous solution, even in the presence of detergent micelles. Other cholesterol derivatives do not form conventional micelles and lead to viscous solutions. To address these problems, a cholesterol-based detergent, CHOBIMALT, has been synthesized and characterized. At concentrations above 3−4 μM, CHOBIMALT forms micelles without the need for elevated temperatures or sonic disruption. Diffusion and fluorescence measurements indicated that CHOBIMALT micelles are large (210±30 kDa). The ability to solubilize a functional membrane protein was explored using a G-protein coupled receptor, the human kappa opioid receptor type 1 (hKOR1). While CHOBIMALT alone was not found to be effective as a surfactant for membrane extraction, when added to classical detergent micelles CHOBIMALT was observed to dramatically enhance the thermal stability of solubilized hKOR1.