ABSTRACT

In 1972, Huglin's collection [1] on light scattering from polymer solutions was published. This was a full 2 years before Ouono and Kaye's classic paper [2] reporting the combination of gel permeation chromatography (GPC, often called size exclusion chromatography or SEC) and light scattering (LS). Although Moore [3] had developed the GPC concept a decade earlier and James Waters had launched his company a few years after that, nowhere in Huglin's text are to be found references to the GPC concept. Indeed, Beckman did not introduce its low-angle laser light scattering (LALLS) instrument until 1972, so this powerful technique would remain but a curiosity until Chromatix licensed the concept from Beckman and began their “missionary” work. Nevertheless, even without the ability to fractionate samples before making LS measurements, LS techniques themselves had reached a high degree of sophistication. Perhaps this was best summarized for the field of biopolymers by Burchard and Cowie [4] in their chapter entitled “Selected topics in biopolymeric systems.” They stated that “an attempt has been made to present a wide variety of examples which illustrate most effectively the breadth of application of light scattering in this field. The versatility of the technique is probably unique in providing information in depth on biopolymers, and while it is by no means the only method in use, one hopes it will become obvious to the unconverted that to neglect light scattering would be to proceed under a distinct disadvantage.” Although the numbers of “unconverted” 370are still large not only in the field of biopolymers but in the broad areas of organic polymers as well, the introduction of the DAWN instruments (which implemented the concept of multi angle light scattering, or MALS, combined with GPC) in the mid 1980s has begun to change those numbers. Referring back to the various chapters in Huglin, it is of interest to note that huge areas of application have yet to be examined by the combined GPC/MALS approach. It is the object of this chapter to continue this "conversion" process while presenting some important new results for biopolymers.