© International University Line, 2010Membrane-active peptides are becoming widely used, mainly due to their high therapeutic potential. Although the therapeutic action is characterized, the mechanisms of interaction are often unclear or controversial. In biophysical studies, non-invasive techniques are overlooked when studying the effect of peptides on membranes. Light scattering techniques, such as dynamic light scattering and static light scattering, can be used as tools to determine whether promotion of membrane aggregation in the presence of peptides and of self-peptide aggregation in solution occurs. More recently, light scattering has been used for evaluating the alteration on membrane surface charge (ζ-potential) promoted by membrane–peptide interactions. The data obtained by these techniques (either by themselves or combined with complementary experimental approaches) therefore yield valuable elucidations of membrane-active peptides’ mechanisms of action at the molecular level.This work was partially supported by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) of the Portuguese Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education. M.M.D. acknowledges the grant SFRH/BD/41750/2007 from FCT
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