Microgels as (poor) crowders

Here is an interesting paper that has arisen out of a collaboration with Gary Pielak’s group at UNC-CH.  “An upper limit for macromolecular crowding effects“, just published in BMC Biophysics, basically illustrates that even at very high microgel concentrations, there is little change in the observed stability of solvated proteins. In other words, microgels are pretty crummy macromolecular crowders. The proteins appear to localize in the aqueous space between the microgels, and perhaps within large pores in the microgels, thereby not “feeling” any macromolecular crowding effects.

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