The NanoFlowSizer — A Non-Invasive, Realtime Nanoparticle Analyzer

The NanoFlowSizer from InProcess-LSP is a new innovative analyzer, designed to perform continuous, realtime nanoparticle size characterization of colloidal systems, nanosuspensions, nanoemulsions and other dispersed nanoproducts directly in manufacturing processes (inline) or in a laboratory setting (offline). Without requiring sample extraction or treatment. It is a one-of-a-kind instrument to perform this function.

Results every 10 sec
The NanoFlowSizer enables users to make rapid nanoparticle size characterization in less than 10 seconds, allowing continuous, realtime in-flow analysis.

How this NanoParticle Analyzer is different
All commercial particle size analyzers need sampling from the production flow and, in a majority of the cases, treatment of sample, which is subsequently transported to a laboratory for offline testing. The outcome of this substandard process control can cause unreliable product quality, which can result in up to 50% rejection rate in batch production based on data from the pharmaceutical sector.

Total production process control
In addition to performing measurements offline, the NanoFlowSizer inline functionality enables faster development and total control across the production process, a benefit highly demanded by pharmaceutical companies, and this demand has currently become even more urgent because of the increased activities in vaccine developments for Covid-19.

Savings up to 2 million
Having absolute control over the manufacturing conditions of nanoparticles leads to a reduction of batch rejection related to nanoparticle size measurements to 0. It simplifies the measurement process by eliminating the need for stopping production and the time-consuming and complicated sampling and sample treatment processes. According to the pharmaceutical sector, savings per event are usually 0.2 to 2 million, which shows a substantial added value for the business.

Food, cosmetics, inks, chemicals...
At InProcess-LSP, the goal is to provide customers with total solutions that address their particular problems and requirements. The NanoFlowSizer evolves from the identification of an unmet need in the pharma and other sectors (for example the food, inks, cosmetics and chemicals markets) of having control of the nanoparticle production process. It has become a core element in InProcess-LSP’s commercial activity as a PAT solutions provider.

Experts in Process Analytical Technology
With extensive scientific knowledge and experience within the team, InProcess-LSP is able to assure adequate performance and optimal alignment with customer objectives. 
Our NanoFlowSizer solution concept includes implementation of the instrument equipped with the right process connectors meeting your (process) requirements.

A unique nanoparticle size analyzer
As an exclusive particle analyzer in the field and the only device to perform inline measurements, the NanoFlowSizer presents a new market segment—that is, inline particle size analysis—within the particle size analysis market.

Moreover, InProcess-LSP will focus its marketing efforts on different industrial sectors. Thus, the NanoFlowSizer will also be aimed at markets beyond the pharmaceutical sector, such as mining, chemical and petroleum, food and drink, catalysts, cosmetics and inks.

Source: InProcess-LSP

NFS functionalities Needs covered
Inline, online, atline and offline Versatility Complete control over the production process and product quality:
  • Batch rejection related to particle size reduced - saving up to €2 million per event
  • 24-hour production possible: increasing revenues
 
Non-invasive Suitable for sterile processes No need for sampling or sample treatment (no expensive time-consuming laboratory testing): €670,000 per drug saved annually, plus increased productivity
Particle size information
within seconds (10 s)
Real-time Continuous measurements
10 – 1,000 nm range Highly-concentrated products

 

NanoFlowSizer

The NFS comprises three key elements:

  • The Base Unit: With the light source and spectrometer
  • Probe Unit: Interferometer and sensor
  • XsperGo software: Instrument control and calculations of particle size characteristics

 

Image Credit: InProcess-LSP

Low coherence light moves from the light source to the optical unit via a fiber connecting them. Light is subsequently directed to the nanosuspension and dispersed by the nanoparticles in a pattern sensed by the sensor and the interferometer provided in the optical unit.

The scatter patterns acquired are then processed via XsperGo software (set up in the computer linked to the NanoFlowSizer), which comprises data treatment algorithms, offering nanoparticle size and size distribution to regulate product and process quality.

NanoFlowSizer modules (above) and configurations (below). Image Credit: InProcess-LSP

The NanoFlowSizer is a versatile modular system delivering various functionalities based on the module used:

  • Offline: Outside the production facility, that is, laboratory (sampling necessary)
  • At-line: Static measurements performed in proximity to the production process (sampling necessary)
  • Online: A sampling loop connects to the production flow
  • Inline: In the production flow (continuous, instant measurements, without the need for sampling and sample treatment)

With the modular design, users can configure all the four analysis groupings listed above, encompassing a broad range of customer applications.

The non-invasive measurement process requires only 10 seconds for nanoparticle size and particle size distribution. Real-time process feedback data, which is crucial for superior quality control of all production processes, is enabled by the continuous analysis mode.

Since measurements are carried out non-invasively, the NanoFlowSizer is also relevant to hygienic production conditions and once this analyzer is set up, it can be easily operated (operator-level software), needing minimal training and maintenance.

Innovativeness

NanoFlowSizer Goes Beyond the Innovation in Nanoparticle Size Analysis.

Dynamic-Light Scattering (DLS): The Most Widely Used Technology

A number of methods are available to establish the size of nanoparticles:

  • Static light scattering or laser diffraction establishes particle size from the quantified variation in the intensity of scattered light as a function of the scattering angle.
  • Nanoparticle tracking analysis aims a laser beam through a chamber that holds suspended particles. These particles scatter the laser, enabling them to be visualized and examined.
  • Dynamic light scattering (DLS) quantifies particle motion from variations in the intensity of the scattered light. Particle size can then be instantly deduced from the movement of particles.

Commercially available systems: A majority of the nanoparticle size analyzers available in the market are based on DLS technology. Existing DLS (or other) systems technically cannot perform inline measurements. A large number of vendors dealing in particle size instrumentation provide offline DLS systems. Offline methods include representative sampling and regular sample preparation.

How the NanoFlowSizer is Different

When opting for the offline functionality, the NanoFlowSizer provides better performance than existing particle sizers for extremely turbid and concentrated samples, and prevents the need for sample preparation.

As an exclusive inline nanoparticle size analyzer, the NanoFlowSizer is the sole system presently available on the market. It delivers all the advantages related to this inline analysis functionality. Since sampling is not required before analysis, risks such as contamination and blunders associated with sampling and testing are reduced considerably.

Moreover, constant monitoring of process flows is now feasible, since inline measurements require just 10 seconds, giving instant performance feedback and full control of the production process. Consequently, NanoFlowSizer allows excellent process control boosting the state of control and adherence and decreasing batch-rejections associated with particle size analysis.

Why can NanoFlowSizer Carry Out Inline Analysis?

Spatially Resolved Dynamic Light Scattering
The main innovation in the NFS is that it uses Spatially Resolved Dynamic Light Scattering (SR-DLS) based on Fourier Domain Low-Coherence Interferometry (FD-LCI). FD-LCI Light scattering data is acquired from particles at different depths in the sample.

The exclusive depth-resolved light scattering information is paramount and holds data on both particle size and process flow properties. The algorithm of InProcess-LSP’s XsperGo software can extract the applicable data continuously, offering size characteristics every 10 seconds.

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