Electric field x-ray scattering measurements on tobacco mosaic virus

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Science  08 Apr 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4849, pp. 194-196
DOI: 10.1126/science.3353716


The feasibility of electric field x-ray solution scattering with biological macromolecules was investigated. Electric field pulses (1.25 to 5.5 kilovolts per centimeter) were used to orient tobacco mosaic virus in solution (4.5 milligrams per milliliter). The x-ray scattering is characteristic of isolated oriented particles. The molecular orientation and its field-free decay were monitored with a time resolution of 2 milliseconds by means of synchrotron radiation and a multiwire proportional area detector. The method should also be applicable to synthetic polymers and inorganic colloids.