BioSAXS (or protein SAXS) has become an indispensable tool in biomedical science. Not only can researchers tell the mass and size of a biomolecule in solution, but they can reconstruct its basic shape, tell if it is rigid or flexible, and even figure out how multiple molecules fit together to form complex molecular machines. Increasingly, advances in medical research depend upon gaining a clear understanding of how biomolecules function and interact within the living cell.
BioSAXS is one of the few techniques that can yield structural information on how biomolecules behave under conditions very similar to the living cell. With the data collected during their BioSAXS experiments, researchers are able to gather a wealth of complex structural information about their sample including: determining physiological oligomeric states, validating proposed models of complexes, building complexes from monomers or known fragments, studying protein-protein interaction under different solution conditions, modelling missing loops and domains, refining homology models, categorising discrete folded and unfolded states, and finding volume fractions in mixtures.