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Analysis of Virus Particles in Media by Dynamic Light Scattering

Traditional visual methods of observing virus particles in solution give a snapshot of a very small sampling volume, while the technique of particle analysis using dynamic light scattering yields an ensemble average of particles present in the solutions. Virus particles incubated in the laboratory present a challenge, as they must be grown within cells in a media containing albumin and other small proteins, such as those present in Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS) or Minimum Essential Media (MEM) solutions. When virus particles are released from the cells, the cell fragments are large and can be separated by centrifugation, but the smaller proteins of the media cannot be removed. Careful selection of the distribution parameters from a dynamic light scattering experiment allows the size distributions of virus particles to be clearly observed in the presence much smaller proteins that constitute the media.