Studying viruses using solution X-ray scattering

Daniel Khaykelson*, Uri Raviv

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Viruses have been of interest to mankind since their discovery as small infectious agents in the nineteenth century. Because many viruses cause diseases to humans and agriculture, they were rigorously studied for biological and medical purposes. Viruses have remarkable properties such as the symmetry and self-assembly of their protein envelope, maturation into infectious virions, structural stability, and disassembly. Solution X-ray scattering can probe structures and reactions in solutions, down to subnanometer spatial resolution and millisecond temporal resolution. It probes the bulk solution and reveals the average shape and average mass of particles in solution and can be used to study kinetics and thermodynamics of viruses at different stages of their life cycle. Here we review recent work that demonstrates the capabilities of solution X-ray scattering to study in vitro the viral life cycle.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
JournalBiophysical Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics (IUPAB) and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • HBV
  • SAXS
  • SV40
  • Self-assembly
  • Time-resolved SAXS
  • Virology


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