Zoom science

SANS has already helped greatly in the understanding of model drug and gene delivery systems such as vesicles. Smaller Q on ZOOM would enable better characterisation of vesicles simultaneously with higher Q data looking at their wall thickness and local flexibility. Even more exciting is the prospect of using the shape of S(Q) between small vesicles to probe the interactions between embedded membrane proteins and say drugs or other vectors which are either free in solution or are attached to other vesicles. By contrast matching the host vesicles the size and shape of an embedded protein and perhaps its interaction complex with antibodies or drugs might be seen at smaller Q.

The growth of small drug crystals and their interaction with polymers or other additives could be entirely followed using the Q range available on ZOOM. Contrast variation to match out the drug crystal would then, for suitably dense layers, allow the thickness and density profiles of polymer stabilisers to be probed.

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