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Static light scattering (SLS) is a technique to measure absolute molecular weight using the relationship between the intensity of light scattered by a molecule and its molecular weight and size, as described by the Rayleigh theory. In the simplest terms, Rayleigh theory says that larger molecules scatter more light than smaller molecules from a given light source and that the intensity of the scattered light is proportional to the molecule’s molecular weight.

There are two ways to measure absolute molecular weight by SLS:

  1. Batch measurement using a cuvette
  2. In combination with a chromatography instrument.

Batch measurement with cuvette based instruments, such as the Zetasizer series, is an ensemble technique. Therefore the result calculated is the weight average molecular weight of the entire sample measured.

However, the most common way of measuring absolute molecular weight is to add an SLS detector e.g. Low Angle Light Scattering LALS, Right Angle Light Scattering RALS or Multi Angle Light Scattering MALS to a GPC/SEC system. By combining SLS with the separation technique you can calculate the absolute molecular weight at any point in the eluting chromatogram and determining the molecular weight of any population in a mixed sample becomes possible.

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Multi-detection GPC/SEC research papers: Top 3 by industry Technical Note (English)

A summary of the three top academic research papers covering different research topics which show how multi-detector GPC/SEC can be used for different applications.



Introducing the most advanced GPC/SEC system available: OMNISEC Technical Note (English)

Here we describe the features and benefits of the OMNISEC GPC/SEC system and explain how OMNISEC sets a new standard in molecular characterization.



Size Exclusion Chromatography / Gel Permeation Chromatography: An Introduction in 30 Minutes Whitepaper (English)

GPC/SEC is mainly used for the characterization of macromolecules including synthetic and natural polymers (including polysaccharides) as well as proteins or RNA/DNA. This white paper provides an introduction to the technique in 30 minutes.



Overcoming challenges in the detection and characterization of PLGA using the latest developments in GPC/SEC technology Poster (English)

PLA, PLGA and their copolymers are biocompatible, biodegradable and used in a number of medical applications. However, analysis of this low molecular weight and low dn/dc sample pushes the sensitivity boundaries of all previous light scattering detec...


Keywords: Polymer solutions English Poster Molecular structure Molecular size Molecular weight Gel Permeation Chromatography Static Light Scattering Size Exclusion Chromatography OMNISEC 

Using GPC/SEC for excipient characterization Article (English)

The properties of polymeric excipients can directly affect the clinical efficacy, safety, and quality of a finished pharmaceutical product and are routinely identified as critical quality attributes (CQAs). This article looks at how gel permeation/si...


Keywords: English Article Molecular structure Molecular size Molecular weight Gel Permeation Chromatography Static Light Scattering Size Exclusion Chromatography Biological drug characterization and development Drug discovery Excipients and coatings OMNISEC 
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