Weighing Molecules with Light – a new way to study biomolecules

Matthias Langhorst
June 20, 2019 
12pm – NYSBC Main Conference Room

The principles behind mass photometry, a technology based on interferometric scattering microscopy: It represents a truly novel approach capable of analyzing individual biomolecules in solution by measuring the mass. Given that most physiological and pathological processes rely on the interaction between different biomolecules, an approach that cannot only observe these species in a universal, label-free fashion, but also measure their mass accurately and with molecular resolution, could be transformative for our ability to characterize the composition, structure and dynamics of biomolecules. Applications include accurate determination of the degree of heterogeneity of biomolecule samples, quantification of molecular interaction strengths and kinetics, optimizing conditions for sample stability and interactions, studies of self-assembly processes as well as precise characterization of molecular concentration. I will illustrate the unique capabilities of mass photometry by discussing a broad selection of recent examples and provide insight into the strengths and limitations of the approach.