By Daniel Some, Ph.D., Wyatt Technology
Accurate characterization of biomacromolecules is essential for successful programs of research and development in the life sciences and biopharmaceuticals. The basic biophysical properties of these molecules include molecular weight, size, conformation, degree of conjugation, aggregation and complex-forming interactions.
Size-exclusion chromatography is commonly used to separate and analyze proteins and other biomacromolecules. However, in order to reliably determine their basic biophysical properties in solution, an absolute, independent means of characterization must be added downstream of the separation step.
Multi-angle light scattering and dynamic light scattering instruments, combined with UV and RI detectors, fulfill that need, making them essential in every lab that produces, uses or characterizes proteins, peptides, nucleic acids, polysaccharides or bionanoparticles constructed of these building blocks. This article explores the technology, capabilities and applications of light scattering paired with size-exclusion chromatography for biophysical characterization.