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Eur Biophys J. 2003 May;32(2):128-36. Epub 2003 Feb 15.

The aggregation behaviour of protein-coated particles: a light scattering study.

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  • 1Department of Physics, University of Extremadura, 10071 Cáceres, Spain.


The different mechanisms involved in the aggregation of spherical latex particles coated with bovine serum albumin (BSA) have been studied using static and dynamic light scattering. These techniques assess the fractal dimension of the aggregates and their mean hydrodynamic radius. Particles with different degrees of surface coverage have been prepared. The net charge of the covered particles has been modified by varying the pH of the aqueous phase. The aggregation rate was measured and used to determine the importance of the different aggregation mechanisms that are responsible for these types of flocculation processes. At low and intermediate degrees of surface coverage, bridging flocculation is the principal aggregation mechanism irrespective of the electrical state of the protein-particle complexes. At high degree of surface coverage, however, weak flocculation is important only when the BSA molecules are at their isoelectric point.

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