Rapid and Accurate Analysis of Nanoparticles on the ICBR Nanosight 300 Instrument
Many samples of environmental or biological origin contain a wide variety of particles sizes and types including those in the nano-scale range of 10 nm to 1μm. While flow cytometers can typically count and analyze particles down to approximately 1μm, determining physical characteristics such as size distribution and concentration of these nanoparticles can be challenging. This is where a technology such as Dynamic Light Scattering with Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis can help. NTA utilizes the properties of both light scattering and Brownian motion in order to obtain particle size distributions of samples in liquid suspension. The recent acquisition of a Malvern NanoSight NS300 instrument by the ICBR and the UF-Health Cancer Center will provide researchers access to studying nanoparticles through DLS-NTA. Within the NS300 instrument, a liquid sample is introduced into a transparent chamber where the individually suspended particles scatter laser light, allowing easy visualization. The NTA capability utilizes a 20x microscope objective and video camera to record their Brownian motion. The instrument’s software tracks the particles individually and, using the Stokes-Einstein equation, calculates their hydrodynamic diameters. A typical analysis takes just a minute or two. Our instrument is equipped with a 488nm laser and long-pass filter, so fluorescent or fluorescently-labeled particles can be analyzed independently from non-fluorescent background particles if desired. Sample preparation is generally minimal, often comprising in most circumstances simple sample dilution. Sample temperature is monitored and may be controlled through the NTA software.
The NS300 will provide rapid, temperature-controlled, automated analysis of the size distribution and concentration of all types of nanoparticles from 10 nm to 2000 nm in diameter. It has many applications including the development of drug delivery systems, viral vaccine research and development, nanotoxicology, protein aggregation studies, and characterization of extracellular microvesicles like exosomes. If you have an interest in using the NS300 please contact Neal Benson, Scientific Director of the ICBR Cytometry Core Laboratory. For more information on NTA technology and the NS300 instrument, please visit the Malvern website.