Smaller than the wavelength of visible light, it is notoriously difficult to determine the shape, structure or conformation of macromolecules and nanoparticles. While imaging techniques such as AFM and cryoTEM can in some cases provide detailed information, they require significant alterations to native solution conditions with deposition on a surface, and measure a very small, often unrepresentative ensemble. Light scattering offers non-invasive determination of conformation, in solution, over large and representative ensembles.
The use of triple-detection GPC combining multi-angle static light scattering (MALS), differential viscometry (dVI) or dynamic light scattering (DLS), and differential refractometry (dRI), independently or in combination, provides quantitative analysis of:
- Branching ratio in polymers and dendrites
- The shape of protein aggregates or amyloid fibrils
- Empty or filled carrier nanoparticles