the nanoparticle characterization company, is happy to announce that the University
of Leeds is committed to the use of their Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis system
for the study of wear debris generated in orthopaedic implants.
Dr Joanne Tipper of the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology studies
nanoparticle sized polymer debris, specifically polyethylene generated first
in vitro (to prove its presence) and then in vivo (from tissue from around failed
hip replacements). The objective was first to characterize/size the particles
and then to consider their bioactivity and effect on cell responses.
Dr Tipper has made measurements on different materials used for implants (metal-metal,
ceramic-ceramic and polymer-polymer). She has had good results on model metal
and ceramic particle systems. The metal nanoparticle debris are typically in
the range of 20-80nm which is particularly suited to NTA when compared to light
scattering methods. The NTA results compare extremely well with high resolution
FEG-SEM, and these particles compare well with clinically generated wear debris.
NTA has proven to be much easier to use, requiring minimal sample preparation
time compared to SEM and then providing results in minutes. When studying polymers,
NTA produced excellent results for polyethylene particles in the 100-800nm range,
again when compared to FEG-SEM.
NanoSight’s chief technical officer and founder, Dr Bob Carr, says this
exciting application is typical of why nanoparticle sizing is becoming critical
in many processes. “Understanding biocompatibility and nanotoxicology
effects have contributed to the demand for our instrumentation where researchers
want to increase their knowledge of materials performance on the nanoscale.”
With more than 100 NTA systems in use worldwide, it is clear that researchers
are finding this technique highly suited to nanoparticle characterization.