The boundary sedimentation experiment described by Schumaker & Rees (1972) provides a simple method of making approximate estimates of sedimentation coefficients. In many instances it may be the only practicable method, as for example in the present study where infective aggregates can only be obtained in mixtures that may also contain many non-infective aggregates. One of the limitations of the method as described is that interpretation of the results depends on extrapolation of graphs which have a complex shape and are not therefore amenable to statistical analysis. However, the equations can be transformed to yield a straightforward linear plot.

In the experiment, a centrifuge tube with radius of cross-section R is filled with a mixture containing the particles to be studied at concentration . The radial distance from the axis of rotation of the rotor to the meniscus ( ) is measured.


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