Ask an Expert! Microcalorimetry: a versatile biophysical tool to understand biomolecular interactions

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The first microcalorimetry ‘Ask an Expert!’ series in 2021 proved to be very popular. This series builds on the foundations given in those talks, further developing the knowledge required to understand biomolecular interactions. 

Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) provide the thermodynamic data required for a rigorous understanding of biomolecular interactions. Combined with structural detail, the quantification of the thermodynamic (and kinetic) properties can be assimilated to give a picture of the change (for example, going from the free to the bound state in a biomolecular interaction, or from the folded to the unfolded state of a biomolecule). 

ITC is the gold standard in the label-free measurement of a wide range of biomolecular interactions for three reasons: it does not rely on the presence of chromophores or fluorophores, it does not require labeling or immobilization of the samples, and there are no molecular weight limitations. Rather, ITC relies only on the detection of a heat effect upon binding. 

Special focus will be placed on the benefits of PEAQ-ITC and PEAQ-DSC, the latest generation of MicroCal instruments, and the solutions they offer to current bottlenecks associated with the study of interaction analysis and conformational stability. Among the most well-recognized challenges in this area is the need to adequately address a broad range of binding affinities and reliably interpret the binding data, which is complicated by the presence of inactive protein or inherent uncertainty in the concentration of the ligand. We will also discuss the improvements in the PEAQ-ITC and PEAQ-DSC data quality, which enables increased confidence and data resolution when measuring low heats at low or uncertain sample concentrations and complex binding.  

In addition to the instruments themselves, we will look at experimental practicalities, how to obtain quality data, how to work with non-aqueous buffers, what to do when things don’t go to plan, and the new MicroCal PEAQ-ITC and PEAQ-DSC analysis software. The new software allows for automated data analysis, minimizing analysis time and user subjectivity in assessing data quality, as well as allowing the analysis of large data sets of 50 or more experiments in a matter of seconds.

Whether you have questions about samples or sample prep, setting up an experiment, or performing analysis, feel free to submit them so that we can deliver the information you require. There’s always more to learn, whether it’s setting up your measurements for quick batch processing, gaining confidence in the quality of your results, or presenting your data in the best format. 

For this webinar, we’ll assume you’ve watched the previous one on the same topic. Don't worry if you missed it or can't remember it – you can watch it back here.

Don’t forget to bring your questions or submit them by emailing (For inclusion in the webinar presentation, questions and data can be submitted up to 10 days upfront. There is also the opportunity to ask questions on the day.) 

More information: 

This webinar is part of our ongoing ‘Ask an expert’ webinar series. These live webinars are meant for students, researchers, and professors alike who want to sharpen their analytical methods, deepen their knowledge, or find out how to improve their data. 

We’ll provide extensive materials analysis information and answer your most frequently asked questions. In other words, it’s the ultimate way to improve your materials science research and engineering knowledge. 

It’s free to attend any of the classes. For a full overview of the 2022 program, click here

To watch any of last year’s webinars, take a look at the full program recordings here.


  • Raul Pacheco Gomez - Field Application Scientist 

More information

Who should attend? 

  • Students and researchers in academia and industry interested in the fields of biomolecular interactions and thermodynamics

What will you learn? 

  • Experimental practicalities
  • Reliable interpretation of binding data 
  • Troubleshooting: what to do when things don’t go to plan