Standard Article

Analytical Ultracentrifugation

Biomolecules Analysis

  1. Peter Schuck,
  2. Andrea Balbo,
  3. Patrick H. Brown,
  4. Huaying Zhao

Published Online: 15 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a9091

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Schuck, P., Balbo, A., Brown, P. H. and Zhao, H. 2010. Analytical Ultracentrifugation. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2010


Analytical ultracentrifugation is a powerful and very versatile technique for the study of particles in solution ranging from sub-nanometers to micrometers in size. It allows the characterization of their size or size distribution, low-resolution (hydrodynamic) shape, density, and solvation properties, and, in some cases, composition and attractive or repulsive interactions. For single- or multicomponent systems with reversible chemical reactions, the number and stoichiometry of complexes, the timescale of their interconversion, as well as binding constants from nanomolar to millimolar range can be determined. Analytical ultracentrifugation is based on first principles and has a long history of theoretical and practical development. This present article provides an introduction of the theoretical concept, the instrumentation, and considerations for conducting experiments and data analysis.