By Cameron Chai
NanoSight nanoparticle characterization solutions are being utilized for detecting and treating a condition called pre-eclampsia that occurs during pregnancy. The only distributor of this characterization system across New Zealand and Australia is Particle & Surface Sciences.
Dr Bob Carr speaks at the 2010 Technology World-NanoForum event
Pre-eclampsia occurring during pregnancy is regarded as a main cause for death of mother and the baby. Exosomes are vesicles measuring 30 to 100 nm created in blood while it oozes from cells. Exosomes play an important role in communications that occur between the cells. Although exosomes can detect pre-eclampsia at an early stage, technological restrictions in measuring exosomes hinders further development in the medical field.
The existing technologies that show limitations in characterizing and identifying exosomes include conventional flow cytometry, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, western blotting, and electron microscopy. NanoSight has collaborated with Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals’ researchers to develop a novel technology to sense phenotype exosomes. In 2005, NanoSight introduced a laser illumination method, Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA), which allows counting and identification of nanoparticle populations in the present situation with slight sample preparation.
This method allows particle-by-particle examination and simultaneously measures different sizes of a large number of particles to provide in-detail information on size distribution of the particles. This finding was sponsored by the Wellcome Trust. The researchers have coalesced NTA with fluorescent labeling to facilitate the detection of exosomes. By this, flow cytometry is effective at the scale of 50 to 600nm and will offer early identification of thrombosis-related diseases. The Chief Technology Officer of Nanosight, Dr Bob Carr discussed the utilization of nanotechnology for identification and treatment of the pre-eclampsia condition.