Development and application of multicolor burst analysis spectroscopy. Academic Article uri icon


  • The formation and disassembly of macromolecular particles is a ubiquitous and essential feature of virtually all living organisms. Additionally, diseases are often associated with the accumulation and propagation of biologically active nanoparticles, like the formation of toxic protein aggregates in protein misfolding diseases and the growth of infectious viral particles. The heterogeneous and dynamic nature of biologically active particles can make them exceedingly challenging to study. The single-particle fluorescence technique known as burst analysis spectroscopy (BAS) was developed to facilitate real-time measurement of macromolecular particle distributions in the submicron range in a minimally perturbing, free-solution environment. Here, we develop a multicolor version of BAS and employ it to examine two problems in macromolecular assembly: 1) the extent of DNA packing heterogeneity in bacteriophage viral particles and 2) growth models of non-native protein aggregates. We show that multicolor BAS provides a powerful and flexible approach to studying hidden properties of important biological particles like viruses and protein aggregates.

published proceedings

  • Biophys J

altmetric score

  • 0.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Shoup, D., Roth, A., Thapa, R., Puchalla, J., & Rye, H. S.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Shoup, Daniel||Roth, Andrew||Thapa, Rajan||Puchalla, Jason||Rye, Hays S

publication date

  • June 2021