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|PhD student, Andre James, from the Driskell group at Illinois State University uses the NanoSight NTA system|
NanoSight reports on how Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis, NTA, is being used in the development of novel bioanalytical assays at Illinois State University. The main application is the characterization of gold nanoparticles and differentiation between monodisperse samples from small numbers of aggregated materials.
Speeding up the detection and identification of viruses is one of the areas of new research of Illinois State University Assistant Professor of Chemistry Jeremy Driskell. This has been recognised by the US Department of Defense in their recent award of a major grant. Reliable and accurate nanoparticle composition is important in such work.
Here, Dr Driskell describes how he has used various techniques.
Talking about his current work, Dr Driskell says "Our research group is focused on the development of novel bioanalytical assays which includes detection of nucleic acids, proteins, and whole viruses. While other groups aim to improve assay sensitivity or detection limits, our central focus is on reducing assay speed and complexity. We are currently using gold nanoparticles and gold filters to develop assays utilizing surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy for detection. In the process of characterizing the gold nanoparticles and monitoring the modification steps required for the SERS assays, we found that particle sizing techniques such as Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) and Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) could also be used for assay readout. This finding and application is detailed in our recent publication in the Analyst." (1).
Dr Driskell continued: "We began by using DLS to characterize gold nanoparticles that we modify with Raman reporter molecules and antibodies. This was a simple means of detecting particle aggregation as a result of surface modification and is more sensitive than colorimetric detection, which we found was not useful for conditions that invoked slight aggregation. When we learned of NanoSight and NTA, we compared the data to DLS. For our purposes, NTA gave a much more accurate representation of the actual particle sizes in our solutions. DLS would frequently indicate aggregation of a nanoparticle population while NTA revealed few large aggregates while the majority of the particles remained monodisperse. Ultimately we concluded it was a better technique to give us a better understanding of nanoparticle composition (aggregates compared with individual particles) in terms of absolute numbers."
To find out about the company and to learn more about particle characterization using NanoSight's unique nanoparticle tracking analysis solutions, visit www.nanosight.com and register to receive the next issue of NanoTrail, the company's electronic newsletter.
"Monitoring gold nanoparticle conjugation and analysis of biomolecular binding with nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) and dynamic light scattering (DLS)" - A James & J Driskell, DOI: 10.1039/c2an36467k.
NanoSight delivers the world's most versatile and proven multi-parameter nanoparticle analysis in a single instrument.
NanoSight's "Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis" (NTA) detects and visualizes populations of nanoparticles in liquids down to 10 nm, dependent on material, and measures the size of each particle from direct observations of diffusion. Additionally, NanoSight measures concentration and a fluorescence mode differentiates suitably-labelled particles within complex background suspensions. Zeta potential measurements are similarly particle-specific. It is this particle-by-particle methodology that takes NTA beyond traditional light scattering and other ensemble techniques in providing high-resolution particle size distributions and validates data with information-rich video files of the particles moving under Brownian motion.
This simultaneous multiparameter characterization matches the demands of complex biological systems, hence its wide application in development of drug delivery systems, of viral vaccines, and in nanotoxicology. This real-time data gives insight into the kinetics of protein aggregation and other time-dependent phenomena in a qualitative and quantitative manner. NanoSight has a growing role in biodiagnostics, being proven in detection and speciation of nanovesicles (exosomes) and microvesicles.
NanoSight has installed more than 500 systems worldwide with users including BASF, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Proctor and Gamble, Roche and Unilever together with the most eminent universities and research institutes. NanoSight's technology is validated by 600+ third party papers citing NanoSight results. NanoSight's leadership position in nanoparticle characterization is consolidated further with publication of an ASTM International standard, ASTM E2834, which describes the NTA methodology for detection and analysis of nanoparticles.
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