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Posted: Aug 28, 2012

LGC is Using Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis to Characterize Novel Nanoscale Reference Materials

(Nanowerk News) LGC is the UK's designated National Measurement Institute for chemical and bioanalytical measurement, the National Reference Laboratory for a range of key areas, and is also the host organisation for the UK's Government Chemist function.
The potential for nanotechnology to improve human health and aid diagnostic and medical procedures can only be realised if nanomaterials, particularly those for use in nanomedicine applications and consumer products, can be used with no toxic effects. LGC is developing a standardized panel of reference nanomaterials to enable the development of traceable methods for improved in vitro toxicity measurement for safety assessment.
LGC use the NanoSight NS500 NTA system in their characterisation of nanoparticles
LGC use the NanoSight NS500 NTA system in their characterisation of nanoparticles.
Potential toxicity is difficult to predict. To address this, LGC is developing a panel of nanoparticle reference materials which will be assessed for their physical and chemical properties in an in vitro biological matrix. These reference materials will be based on the high quality nanoparticles produced by the EU-Joint Research Centre (JRC) which have undergone extensive physical characterization in the dry-powder form. LGC are carrying out the characterization work using a unique combination of Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA - NanoSight, UK), which images and tracks the Brownian motion of particles in solution, with field flow fractionation coupled to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (FFF-ICPMS). This approach will allow complex suspensions of nanomaterials to be characterized for their size, size distribution, charge, concentration, dissolution and elemental composition. Furthermore, NTA is now recognized by ASTM E2834 as a standard for the Measurement of Particle Size Distribution of Nanomaterials in Suspension. With its unique particle by particle method of measurement, NTA provides the ideal insight for this characterization challenge.
Speaking about this project, Damian Marshall said "It is anticipated that this research will produce a prototype panel of reference materials characterized for their properties (size, agglomeration state, elemental composition, and toxicity) in physiologically relevant systems so they can be applied as calibration standards in routine testing procedures. The research should support public acceptance of nanomaterial safety by providing reference materials that can be incorporated into testing regimes for regulatory processes."
The development of a panel of characterized reference materials is timely and important for supporting technological and societal challenges associated with sustainable development, competitiveness, food, health, safety, and environmental issues.
Concluding, Marshall stated "Working together with NanoSight's technical team and its development of NTA has enabled us to significantly improve our toxicity measurements. The efficient sampling process means we are now able to measure size and charge of nanoparticles in cell culture media over a given time period. This has been invaluable in assisting our understanding of how nanoparticles behave in biological systems."
To find out about the company and to learn more about particle characterization using NanoSight's unique Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis solutions, visit and register to receive the next issue of NanoTrail, the company's electronic newsletter.
About NanoSight
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 over 500 third party papers citing NanoSight results and by the ASTM Standard E2834, consolidating NanoSight's leadership position in nanoparticle characterization. For more information, visit
Source: NanoSight (press release)

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