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Biochem J. Nov 1, 1985; 231(3): 543–547.
PMCID: PMC1152785

The concentration-dependence of macromolecular parameters.


Theories concerning the concentration-dependence of sedimentation and diffusion coefficients for macro-molecules in dilute solution are compared and discussed, together with their experimental basis. An attempt has been made to clarify an important uncertainty still present in the literature as to whether sedimentation coefficients should be corrected for solvent or solution density. It is pointed out that the two processes yield the same extrapolation limit but different concentration-dependencies, which have, however, been related. A general expression is derived thermodynamically for the concentration-dependence of diffusion that includes the coefficient of the concentration term involved in sedimentation (on the basis of sedimentation coefficients corrected from solution density). For rigid spherical particles the expression is shown to be exactly equivalent to one given by Batchelor [(1976) J. Fluid Mech. 74, 1-29], which was derived on the basis of sedimentation coefficients corrected from solvent density. Finally, we discuss the concentration-dependence of apparent weight-average relative molecular masses ('molecular weights') (from, e.g., sedimentation equilibrium) and note an important omission in some earlier representations.

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Selected References

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