WK.04  Small Angle Scattering: Structural Biology and Soft Matter  workshop sponsored, in part, by the following




Richard Gillian

Cornell Univ.

[email protected]


  workshop sponsored, in part, by the following





Small angle x-ray solution scattering (SAXS) continues to experience dramatic growth within both the structural biology and soft matter communities. While there tends to be relatively little interaction between these communities historically, the two share essentially the same basic theoretical foundation as well as a number of tools and techniques. This workshop will bring together leading SAS experts in both areas to prepare students for successful experiments.


The morning portion of the dual-track/two-room workshop will be a joint session covering theory and practice common to both fields. After the joint session, the rooms will be divided and the two parallel sessions will cover specifics of the individual fields of soft matter and structural biology. PLEASE NOTE: BIOLOGY TRACK IS CLOSED. PARTICIPANTS WILL BE ALLOWED TO REGISTER FOR THE SOFT MATTER TRACK ONLY. In addition to synchrotron sources, this workshop is expected to have some content devoted to laboratory x-rays sources, but also particularly neutron sources and techniques. The workshop format will include lectures, and a selection of hands-on practical exercises. Students will be expected to bring laptops with appropriate pre-installed software as necessary. Prior to the workshop, a website (prepared by Cornell) will be configured containing installation instructions and software for each tutorial. Throughout the workshop, the emphasis will be on knowing how to judge data quality, what to do about problematic samples, and basic requirements for acceptable publication of first-time data. Students will also learn tips and tricks for home laboratory data collection and be introduced to the various national synchrotron BioSAXS beamlines and neutron sources. This workshop will also aim to educate students about the particular advantages of neutron scattering and the extra steps necessary to carry out a first SANS experiment. Selected advanced modelling techniques will also be covered.


Course Topics


Basic Theory and Methods

·       Theory Essentials: understanding the scattering profile

·       What are all those plots? (Guinier, Kratky, & Porod plots)

·       Do Try This at Home: tips and tricks for lab-source data collection

·       SAXS and SANS: unique strengths and differences

·       National sources: how to get time, what to expect.

Tutorials (both parallel sessions)

·       Basic SAX/SANS analysis methods (molecular weights, plots, envelopes)

·       Advanced modelling

Biological Topics

·       Sample preparation and characterization

·       Assessing data quality, finding basic parameters

·       distance distributions and molecular envelopes

·       Docking, EOM and flexibility

·       Analysis of mixtures and separation

·       SANS contrast variation

·       Publishing data: what you should know

Soft Matter Topics

·       Sample preparation and characterization

·       SAXS, SANS and USAXS basics (Guinier, Porod approximations)

·       Introduction to Grazing Incidence SAXS (GISAXS)

·       Beyond linearization plots; hierarchical structures

·       Overview of models for specific systems

·       Advanced modeling


Course Schedule -


 Joint Session:
8:00 am Registration & software help
8:30 Biology Meets Soft Matter
9:00 General SAS Fundamentals
9:45 coffee break
10:00 Joint tutorial session (data collection basics)
11:00 Do Try This At Home (Lab sources, optics. detectors etc)
12:00 Lunch

Bio Track:
1:00 SAXS & SANS Bio Specifics
2:00 Tutorial: P(r) & Envelopes
3:00 Sample Preparation
3:30 Inline SEC MALS + Mixtures
4:00 SASSIE Tutorial
5:30 Publishing Your Data - What You Should Know

Soft Matter Track:
1:00 SANS/Soft Matter Basics
2:00 Models
2:30 Instrumentation
4:00 Analysis Tools
4:30 Irena Tutorial
5:30 Wrap up


Course webpages: http://meetings.chess.cornell.edu/ACABioSAS/index.html  


 All participants must pre-register for the workshop and submit the following fee with their meeting registration form:


Student or Post-doc -  before May 31, $130, on or after June 1 $180

Academic others - before May 31, $130, on or after June 1 $180

Corporate - before May 31,  $250, on or after June 1 $300