Solution x-ray scattering form factors of supramolecular self-assembled structures

Pablo Székely, Avi Ginsburg, Tal Ben-Nun, Uri Raviv*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


In this paper, the analysis of several involved models, relevant for evaluating solution X-ray scattering form factors of supramolecular self-assembled structures, is presented. Different geometrical models are discussed, and the scattering form factors of several layers of those shapes are evaluated. The thickness and the electron density of each layer are parameters in those models. The models include Gaussian electron density profiles and/or uniform electron density profiles at each layer. Various forms of cuboid, layered, spherical, cylindrical, and helical structures are carefully treated. The orientation-averaged scattering intensities of those form factors are calculated. Similar classes of form factors are examined and compared, and their fit to scattering data of lipid bilayers, capsids of the Simian virus 40 virus-like particle and microtubule is discussed. A more detailed model of discrete helices composed of uniform spheres was derived and compared to solution X-ray scattering data of microtubules. Our analyses show that when high-resolution data are available the more detailed models with Gaussian electron density profiles or helical structures composed of spheres should be used to better capture all the elements in the scattering curves. The models presented in this paper may also be applied, with minor corrections, for the analysis of solution neutron scattering data.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)13110-13129
Number of pages20
Issue number16
StatePublished - 17 Aug 2010


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