Posted: September 8, 2008

NanoSight Speeds Leeds University's Characterization of Wear Debris in Orthopaedic Implants

(Nanowerk News) NanoSight Limited, the nanoparticle characterization company, is happy to announce that the University of Leeds is committed to the use of their Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis system for the study of wear debris generated in orthopaedic implants.
Dr Joanne Tipper of the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology studies nanoparticle sized polymer debris, specifically polyethylene generated first in vitro (to prove its presence) and then in vivo (from tissue from around failed hip replacements). The objective was first to characterize/size the particles and then to consider their bioactivity and effect on cell responses.
Dr Tipper has made measurements on different materials used for implants (metal-metal, ceramic-ceramic and polymer-polymer). She has had good results on model metal and ceramic particle systems. The metal nanoparticle debris are typically in the range of 20-80nm which is particularly suited to NTA when compared to light scattering methods. The NTA results compare extremely well with high resolution FEG-SEM, and these particles compare well with clinically generated wear debris. NTA has proven to be much easier to use, requiring minimal sample preparation time compared to SEM and then providing results in minutes. When studying polymers, NTA produced excellent results for polyethylene particles in the 100-800nm range, again when compared to FEG-SEM.
Particle size plot of wear debris from an orthopaedic joint
Particle size plot of wear debris from an orthopaedic joint
NanoSight’s chief technical officer and founder, Dr Bob Carr, says this exciting application is typical of why nanoparticle sizing is becoming critical in many processes. “Understanding biocompatibility and nanotoxicology effects have contributed to the demand for our instrumentation where researchers want to increase their knowledge of materials performance on the nanoscale.”
With more than 100 NTA systems in use worldwide, it is clear that researchers are finding this technique highly suited to nanoparticle characterization. For more information about NanoSight and how their instrumentation is applied to applications in both the biological and materials sciences, please visit
About NanoSight
NanoSight Ltd, of Salisbury, UK, is the world leading provider of instruments for the optical detection and real time analysis of sub-micron particles. The Company supplies unique instruments for nanoparticle analysis in the sub-micron region that go far beyond existing light scattering techniques in characterising polydispersed systems. The company currently has over 100 systems in service worldwide having begun commercial sales in 2006.
The Company’s proprietary knowledge and expertise has enabled the delivery of technologies to blue chip companies and universities for direct visualisation of individual nanoscale particles in suspension from which independent quantitative estimation of particle size, size distribution and concentration are immediately obtained. The Company has recently launched additions to its advanced Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) software that build on the ground-breaking work of NanoSight’s LM20 and LM10 systems.
The Company has a growing base of users worldwide, including BASF, GlaxoSmithKline, 3M Corp, BP, ICI, Roche & Unilever and many universities. For more information, visit
Source: Nanosight (press release)
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