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BioSAXS refers to the use of small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) to probe biologically-relevant systems, such as proteins (or protein aggregates) in solution.

Unlike crystallography or diffraction experiments, BioSAXS experiments typically do not generate distinct Bragg peaks or rings. Instead, a smooth decay of scattering intensity is observed at small scattering angles (which may look like diffuse scattering). However, with appropriate modeling, the specific form of this intensity decay can be fit in order to extract parameters of physical interest, including:

  • Radius of gyration, or molecular weight, of macromolecules (including proteins)
  • Particle shape (at low resolution)
  • Inter-particle distances
  • Aggregation or conformational state of macromolecules (degree of folding, denaturation, disorder)


See Also