EPR Spectroscopy in (Bio-)Macromolecular Structural Research_

Talk by Dr. Dariush Hinderberger, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, Germany

Magnetic resonance methods such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) or electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) can give valuable insights into materials that show long range disorder and some short range or intermediate range order, e.g. synthetic and biological soft matter.

In particular, EPR spectroscopy with its high sensitivity and selectivity is complementary to the well-established methods of soft matter characterization (e.g. light-, X-ray, neutron scattering) and delivers information that is otherwise not accessible. While conventional continuous-wave (CW) EPR allows studying rotational dynamics in the microsecond to picosecond regime, EPR methods that measure the dipolar (through-space) interaction of individual electron spins can be used to gain information on the spatial distribution of paramagnetic probe molecules in a distance range up to ~8 nm.

Here, I will show that methods of EPR spectroscopy can help illuminating – on the molecular scale – the large and diverse variety of structure, dynamic and finally function of synthetic and biological macromolecules. These features will be highlighted through recent examples of synthetic and biological macromolecules ranging from thermoresponsive (bio-)polymers to intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs).

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