Professor Ian Sargent from the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Oxford University
Cellular microvesicles and exosomes (nanovesicles) are involved in many disease processes and have been shown to have major potential for use as biomarkers. However, developments in this area have been constrained by limitations in the technology available for their measurement. This ground-breaking paper reports on the use of fluorescence nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) to rapidly size and phenotype cellular vesicles. In the NTA system, manufactured by NanoSight (Amesbury, UK), vesicles are visualized by light scattering using a light microscope. A video is recorded and then the NTA software tracks the Brownian motion of the individual vesicles calculating their size and total concentration. Using human placental vesicles and plasma, the team has demonstrated that NTA can measure cellular vesicles as small as ~50 nm which is far more sensitive than conventional flow cytometry (lower limit ~300 nm). By combining NTA with fluorescence measurement, it has been sho wn that vesicles can be labeled with specific antibody-conjugated quantum dots, allowing their phenotype to be determined.
Comprehensive funding for the work was provided by a Wellcome Trust Technology Development, a Wellcome Trust Programme Grant and by the Oxford Partnership Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre with support from the Department of Health's NIHR Biomedical Research Centres funding scheme.
To learn about the characterization of exosomes and microvesicles using NanoSight's unique nanoparticle tracking analysis solutions, please visit the company website (www.nanosight.com) and register for the latest issue of NanoTrail, the company's electronic newsletter.
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 10nm, dependent on material, and measures the size of each particle from direct observations of diffusion. Particle size, concentration, Zeta potential and aggregation can all be analyzed while a fluorescence mode provides differentiation of labelled particles. This particle-by-particle methodology goes beyond traditional light scattering and other ensemble techniques in providing high-resolution particle size distributions.
NanoSight's comprehensive characterization matches the demands of complex biological systems, hence its wide application in development of drug delivery systems, of viral vaccines, in nanotoxicology and in biodiagnostics. 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. As functionalized nanoparticles increasingly fulfill their potential in biodiagnostics, NanoSight is ever more the analytical platform of choice.
NanoSight demonstrates worldwide success through rapid adoption of NTA, having installed more than 300 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. In addition to this user base more than 250 third party papers citing NanoSight results consolidate NanoSight's leadership position in nanoparticle characterization. For more information, visit the NanoSight website (www.nanosight.com).