Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 9, 2010
Previous Article Next Article

LD spectroscopy of natural and synthetic biomaterials

Author affiliations


The structural characterization of biomaterials is challenging because they are usually too large for NMR or high resolution mass spectrometry and not well-enough structured for X-ray crystallography. Structural characterization and kinetic analysis for such systems thus has to proceed by collecting complementary data from a wide range of different techniques. This tutorial review describes how linear dichroism, a polarized absorbance spectroscopy technique applied to oriented molecular systems, can be used to provide useful data on biomaterials. In particular LD can provide information about relative orientations of sub-units of biomaterials and orientations of the whole biomaterial with respect to an orientation axis. An outline of linear dichroism and a summary of the artifacts to be avoided are followed by a description of how Couette flow linear dichroism has been used for a range of biomaterial systems including: DNA; DNA:ligand systems; cytoskeletal fibrous proteins; synthetic protein fibres; membrane proteins in liposomes; bacteriophage; carbon nanotubes; and peptidoglycan systems.

Graphical abstract: LD spectroscopy of natural and synthetic biomaterials

Back to tab navigation

Additions and corrections

Article information

04 Mar 2010
First published
30 Jul 2010

Chem. Soc. Rev., 2010,39, 3380-3393
Article type
Tutorial Review

LD spectroscopy of natural and synthetic biomaterials

M. R. Hicks, J. Kowałski and A. Rodger, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2010, 39, 3380
DOI: 10.1039/B912917K

Social activity

Search articles by author