Malvern Instruments acquired NanoSight in September 2013 extending its portfolio of solutions for analysis at the nanoscale. Malvern has been active in nanoparticle characterization for many years but in this broad and highly dynamic field there is no single answer to the challenge of characterizing nanoscale materials.
NanoSight Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis systems have added a complementary technology and a suite of fully developed, market accepted analytical instruments to Malvern’s existing nanoparticle and molecular characterization portfolio. These also include the established Zetasizer family of instruments that lead the field in using light scattering techniques to measure particle size, zeta potential and molecular weight. It also encompasses Viscotek GPC/SEC systems, which are widely used to determine the molecular weight, size and structure of polymers, proteins and polysaccharides.
New analytical technologies and products specifically for biopharmaceutical applications are also being developed and brought to market through Malvern’s Bioscience Development Initiative. Through this, Malvern is driving a program of high-level partnering for technology development, collaborating with biopharmaceutical companies and industry leaders. Partnerships here have seen Malvern entering into a distribution agreement with Affinity Biosensors to add the technique of Resonant Mass Measurement to our range, and launching the Viscosizer 200 for automated micro-viscosity measurement and molecular sizing.
AboutNanoparticle Tracking Analysis
Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) is a unique method of visualizing and analyzing particles in liquids, from 10-2000nm, that relates the rate of Brownian motion to particle size. The rate of movement is related only to the viscosity of the liquid, the temperature and size of the particle and is not influenced by particle density or refractive index.
The particles contained in the sample are visualized by virtue of the light they scatter when illuminated by laser light. Typical analysis time is approximately 30s, however longer analysis times improve accuracy and statistics.
The light scattered by the particles is captured using a scientific digital camera and the motion of each particle is tracked from frame to frame by the specially developed software. This rate of particle movement is related to a sphere equivalent hydrodynamic radius as calculated through the Stokes-Einstein equation. The technique calculates particle size on a particle-by particle basis overcoming inherent weaknesses in ensemble techniques. Also, since video clips form the basis of the analysis, accurate characterization of real time events such as aggregation and dissolution is possible.
Measuring Concentration with Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis
This unique single particle detection system allows particle concentration to be measured in the 10-2000nm range in liquid suspension. The ability to measure concentration and apply this to product performance goes well beyond simply measuring particle size and provides the user with a much fuller understanding of their sample. Measuring particle concentration is a requirement across a range of applications.