The strength of analytical ultracentrifugation comes from the underlying thermodynamic principles of sedimentation behaviour. There are two common types of experiment, Sedimentation Equilibrium, which can measure the molecular mass of a species in solution and Sedimentation Velocity, which can determine the sedimentation coefficient (velocity) of the molecule (allowing for a determination of molecular size and shape). AUC is used to determine the oligomeric state of protein systems (i.e. is it monomeric, dimeric, tetrameric etc.). It is therefore a useful technique for looking at modifications to quaternary structure. AUC can also measure the interaction of two species in solution and is now also being used for Aggregation analysis in Drug Development.
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