NTA is a method of obtaining the size and distribution of nanoparticles suspended in liquid samples. It relies on a combination of light scattering measurement and Brownian motion analysis.
How does it work?
You load your sample into the chamber. A special excitation laser is directed at the chamber, and particles struck by the laser beam scatter its light. Data from the scattered light is collected by the microscope, and recorded by a digital camera. The nanoparticle tracking analysis software then analyzes each particle individually, and all of them in relation to one another, and uses the Stokes-Einstein equation to calculate their hydrodynamic diameters.
The proper instrument, used properly, can provide high resolution nanoparticle size, as well as concentration and aggregation measurement. Simultaneously, fluorescence measurements can provide more specific data for appropriately marked particles. Given real time monitoring, subtle changes in particle populations can be discerned, and the numerical analysis validated visually. Following analysis, samples can be recovered, as in FACS, for additional analysis and experimentation, for the technique is non-destructive.
Furthermore, this technique does not require large sample volumes, and the instruments require little in the way of consumables.
The system can be used to:
- Characterize various particles, such as exosomes, microvesicles, and extracellular vesicles.
- Perform vaccine binding analysis.
- Develop vesicle based drug delivery systems.
- Perform protein aggregation studies.
- Nanotoxicology research
The rub is that use of this system, and analysis of the results requires considerable expertise – expertise that Merkel is more than ready to provide as part of its pre- and post- purchase service.