Circular Dichroism Spectropolarimetry

Instrument: Applied Photophysics PiStar (with Stopped Flow system)


Circular dichroism is a technique that measures the absorption of photons of light that are oriented in a specific way - circularly polarised light - by molecules. The extent to which light polarisedin this manner is absorbed allows us to deduce the presence of different stereoisomers - chemically identical molecules that are mirror images of each other.

Molecule that exist as sterioisomers include many small biological molecules and drugs, as well as biomacromolecules such as proteins. In biology, which of the two sterioisomers is present is crucially important, since one might have beneficial effects whilst the other might be toxic.

For proteins, circular dichroism can be used to determine how well folded protein molecules are.

Technical Detail
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