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Unravelling biomolecular structure, interactions and dynamics with mass photometry

Interactions between biomolecules control the processes of life, and their malfunction in disease, making their characterization and quantification essential to our understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms. A major challenge stems from the intrinsic heterogeneity and dynamics of molecular machines and its correlation with function. I will introduce mass photometry (MP), the accurate and precise mass measurement by light scattering, which enables the study of stoichiometries, structure, energetics and kinetics of individual biomolecules in solution. These capabilities provide a dynamic view of complex processes at the macromolecular level, which I will illustrate with recent results revealing the molecular dynamics driving protein polymerization, and the importance of intermolecular interactions for viral infection and therapeutic intervention.