The Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation at the University of
Leicester is using the NanoSight
nanoparticle characterization system to count bacteriophage and marine viruses.
Dr. Martha Clokie is a lecturer in microbiology. Her interests are focussed
on the ecology and molecular biology of bacteriophages and their relationship
with bacterial hosts; ranging from bacterial pathogens to environmentally important
cyanobacteria; exploiting bacteriophages and phage-derived products as an alternative
to treating antibiotic resistant bacterial infections.
Dr. Clokie has been using the NanoSight system to study cyanobacteria and their
viruses which involves the accurate enumeration of viral particles. Prior to
the use of the NanoSight system, Dr. Clokie would use time-consuming plaque
assays to count viruses, this involves relatively large volumes of cyanobacterial
culture and takes up to four weeks to obtain results. Now using NanoSight's
unique nanoparticle tracking analysis, she is able to produce data in minutes
and with no culturing required. Data from the NanoSight appears to correlate
well with data from conventional plaque assays. With the typical viruses in
the 100-300nm range and marine samples already being in the concentration range
of 106 - 107 parts/ml, this is utilizing the sweet spot of the NanoSight technology
which tracks and counts light scattered particle by particle.
Of her results to date, Dr. Clokie says it looks to provide a very promising
method with significant ease of use, time-saving advantages. "Being able
to visualise the sample without dilution gives me confidence in the results.
The NanoSight has also shown advantages over flow cytometry where signal to
noise issues can sometimes be a problem for us. This speed of data collection
will allow me to probe far more data than I could do otherwise and should really
allow the cyanobacterial/phage dynamic to be probed."
To learn more about nanoparticle characterization using Nanoparticle Tracking
Analysis (NTA), please visit the company's website and register for the latest
issue of NanoTrail, the company's electronic newsletter.
Posted June 8th, 2010