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Physics of protein phase behaviour

Physics of protein phase behaviour
Understanding protein phase behaviour, especially protein crystallization, is important for biology for a number of reasons. First, crystals are needed for diffraction studies to elucidate the three-dimensional structure of proteins. Secondly, crystalline proteins occur in normal and diseased tissues and abnormal protein phase behaviour can cause a number of diseases, for example eye lens opacity. Finally, there is growing interest in exploiting protein phase behaviour in biotechnology. In response to this broad relevance, we aim at a better understanding of protein phase behaviour, in particular in the presence of additives, such as salts, solvents, polymers or denaturants. Since proteins have well-defined properties, they also represent ideal 'model colloids’ to investigate the general physics underlying phase behaviour.

Physics of Soft Matter:
Dana Wagner, Stefan U. Egelhaaf

Copyright: Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf