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Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA): Applications in biotechnology

Philip D. Vincent 

NanoSight, London Road, Amesbury SP4-7RT, United Kingdom


NanoSight's Nanopartilce Tracking Analysis (NTA) is a technique for characterising nanoparticles in its native suspension.

This technique provides real time and multi-parameter characterisation of nanoparticles (down to 10-20nm diameter) achieved by video analysis of a laser illuminated sample through conventional microscopy. Analysis of the Brownian motion of individual particles in the defined field of view allows their size to be determined as well as their concentration.

Each particle is individually but simultaneously analysed for i) size; ii) high resolution particle size distribution profile; iii) light scattering properties (refractive index); iv) fluorescence allowing phenotyping or speciation; v) zeta potential through the application of electric fields and, vi) concentration (particles per millilitre) of any given size class of nanomaterial. This has a broad range of applications in biotechnology.

Exosomes and microvesicles: Fluorescently labelled exosomes can be successfully tracked and analysed allowing phenotyping of subpopulations in complex sample types. NTA is capable of selectively analysing such populations through the use of antibody-mediated fluorescent labelling. This approach allows the user to detect, analyse and count only the specific nanoparticles to which the fluorescently-labelled antibody binds, with background non-specific particulates being excluded.

Drug delivery: The ability to characterise polymer nanoparticles used for systematic drug delivery is an important tool in biomedicine. For example, NTA has recently been applied for monitoring drug renal retention, the specific targeting properties of drugs and the performance of newly developed medicines.

Nanotoxicology: NTA is widely used as a preliminary characterisation technique prior to exposure. This has been applied to a range of materials including metals, metal oxides and polymers.

The ability to characterise and count individual nanoparticles ensures NTA will continue to be a valuable tool in a range of biotechnological applications and holds an important role in the advancements of this field.

Auxiliary resources (full texts, presentations, posters, etc.)
  1. POSTER: Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA): Applications in biotechnology, PDF document, version 1.5, 1MB

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Presentation: Poster at Nano-Biotechnologia PL, by Philip D. Vincent
See On-line Journal of Nano-Biotechnologia PL

Submitted: 2012-07-10 12:05
Revised:   2012-09-14 03:54