The Protein Journal

, Volume 31, Issue 8, pp 703–709 | Cite as

Quantitation of pH-induced Aggregation in Binary Protein Mixtures by Dielectric Spectroscopy

  • Brett L. Mellor
  • Stephen J. Wood
  • Brian A. Mazzeo


This paper presents a quantitative approach for measuring pH-controlled protein aggregation using dielectric spectroscopy. The technique is demonstrated through two aggregation experiments, the first between β-lactoglobulin (β-Lg) and hen lysozyme (HENL) and the second between bovine serum albumin (BSA) and HENL. In both experiments, the formation of aggregates is strongly dependent on the solution pH and is clearly indicated by a decrease in the measured permittivity when the second protein is added. A quantifiable lower-bound on the ratio of proteins involved in the aggregation process is obtained from the permittivity spectra. Lower-bound aggregation ratios of 83 % for β-Lg/HENL at pH 6.0 and 48 % for BSA/HENL at pH 9.2 were consistent with turbidity measurements made on the same solutions.


Dielectric spectroscopy Protein aggregation pH 





Bovine serum albumin


Electrode polarization




Dielectric spectroscopy


Hen lysozyme


Protein data bank



We thank Shiul Khadka and Bryson Lanterman for initial construction of measurement cells and preliminary experiments. BLM was supported by a MIT Lincoln Laboratory Fellowship Award. This work was supported by funds from the BYU College of Engineering and Technology and the Office of Research & Creative Activities.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brett L. Mellor
    • 1
  • Stephen J. Wood
    • 1
  • Brian A. Mazzeo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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