Solutions for Particle Characterisation

Particle characterisation is the science of analysing materials at minute level in order to understand and control how they behave. A ‘particle’ can include a liquid droplet, gas bubble or powder, varying from a nanometre to a centimetre in size. As such, particle characterisation is relevant to a wide range of industries and applications.

We provide a range of instruments for effective particle characterisation including the unique CPS Disc Centrifuge Ultra High Resolution Particle Size Analyser, the ZetaView® Nanoparticle Tracking Analyser, the Stabino® Zeta Potential Instrument and the NANO-flex Dynamic Light Scattering instrument. Whether looking to analyse size, shape, concentration or size distribution, we’ll work with you to ensure you get the most out of your investment.

Browse Solutions for Particle Characterisation below; call us on +44(0)1954 232 776 or email info@analytik.co.uk to discuss your requirements with a specialist.

Particle Characterisation Techniques

DCS can be used to analyse particle size distribution. The technique utilises a modified version Stokes’ Law to determine an unknown distribution of particle sizes by measuring the time it takes for particles to settle from a known distance in a liquid of known viscosity and density.

Exposure to high g-force through a centrifuge allows the sedimentation of even very small particles down to just a few nanometres in size to occur quickly, enabling real-time analysis.

The CPS Disc Centrifuge allows the measurement of highly poly-dispersed particles within an approximate size range of 3nm to 60 microns depending on particle density; the CPS can measure particles with as little as 2% size difference from one another. Rather than rely on a predictive algorithm, the CPS physically separates particles and measures them as they pass a light source detector.

CPS Disc Centrifuge UHRKey benefits of the CPS Disc Centrifuge include:

  • 2 to 10 times higher resolution than any other particle sizing instrument
  • Ability to measure low density, neutral buoyancy particles
  • Highly reproducible results
  • Detect and measure tiny, subtle differences in particle size
  • Measure and monitor nanoparticle coating thickness
  • Can be used to calculate particle density if size is known

The CPS Disc Centrifuge has applications in a wide variety of sectors, varying from analysis of virus and virus-like particles and gold and silver nanoparticle used in drug delivery systems, to liposomes, carbon nanotubes, polymeric particles, water and oil-based pigments, and printing inks.

NTA is a widely adopted method of measuring particle size, concentration, surface charge (zeta potential) and fluorescence. This versatile technique is capable of multiparameter measurement for many types of particles, saving time and reducing required sample amounts.

The ZetaView® is a next generation nanoparticle tracking analyser that measures hydrodynamic particle size, zeta potential and concentration through analysis of a video sequence at 11 separate positions in a flow cell. Each individual particle in the 3nL field of view is counted and tracked in short video clips, creating accurate concentration calculations and particle size distributions. The ZetaView® combines these Brownian Motion measurements with classical micro-electrophoresis to determine zeta-potential. These parameters can be measured both in scattering mode and in fluorescence mode, for the determination of fluorescently labelled sub-populations.

ZetaView Z-NTA | Fluorescent NTAThe ZetaView® can measure particle size between 20nm – 1000nm (dependant on sample and laser) and a concentration range of 105 – 109 particles/ml. With several available laser options, the addition of dual or quad laser functionality for fluorescence labelling and multiwavelength excitation, means that its market-leading anti-bleach fluorescence technology has the unique ability to identify two or four different sub-populations in quick succession, without the need to manually change lasers.

Ideal applications include:

  • Fluorescently labelled nanoparticles
  • Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) and Exosomes
  • Drug delivery
  • Liposomes and Micelles
  • Viruses and Virus-like Particles

Streaming potential is used for determining the surface charge of nanoparticles in a colloidal solution. From this, zeta potential can be calculated however zeta potential alone is often insufficient to assess the true stability of a colloid or dispersion. +/-30mV is often quoted as a threshold for stability but this does not give the full picture and is only relevant to the sample as it stands in that exact chemical environment. It is entirely possible for two samples to have -30mV zeta potential but have very different stabilities. To determine true stability, we track changes in zeta potential against volume of titrant added, thus allowing calculations such as Iso Electric Points when performing pH titrations.

Stabino | Zeta Potential Analyser

The Stabino® is a unique zeta potential instrument for analysing and optimising the stability of colloids and dispersions, with unrivalled technical ability when it comes to measuring streaming potential. Able to measure sample concentrations varying from 0.01% to 40% in volume, the Stabino® has a number of key benefits including:

  • Fast pH and polyelectrolyte titration
  • High resolution zeta potential plots
  • Ability to use the ‘Mix and Measure’ principle
  • Highly flexible, non-optical technique
  • Intuitive, self-explanatory software

The system is ideally suited to formulation development and also has applications in quality control.

DLS is a widely used technique for determining the size distribution profile of small particles in suspension or polymers in solution.

NANO-flex II from Colloid MetrixThe NANO-flex® is a particle size distribution measurement system with 180° DLS, enabling high dynamic range and high resolution in one measurement. The system allows for in-situ measurement of particle size distributions of suspensions and emulsions in the range of 0.3 nm to 10 µm and concentrations up to 40 % w/v.

This stand-alone particle size analyser can not only be used for in-line applications (featuring a unique dip in probe for in-situ size measurements) but can also work in conjunction with the Stabino® system for simultaneous size distribution, zeta potential and titration/stability measurements.

The NANO-flex® is ideal for a range of applications including colloid stability optimisation, reagglomeration control, core shell design and dispersing efficiency development.

Videos

For more product explainer videos, view our particle characterisation product pages or visit the Analytik YouTube channel.

Particle Size Analysis with the CPS Disc Centrifuge

Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) with ZetaView®

Our customers

We currently use the ZetaView to compare yields from different EV preparation techniques, to assess changes in particle (EVs) concentration between different experimental conditions, and to normalise the concentrations of EVs we use in cell treatments. In the future, we hope to use the fluorescence capability of the ZetaView® to analyse subpopulations of EVs. Having tried other commercial particle characterisation systems, we choose the ZetaView® because we find the automated scanning of multiple positions and video analysis capabilities of the unit convenient for quick analysis of our EV preparations. The software is user friendly, and the machine is easy to set up. We can also dilute our samples allowing for minimal loss of sample size for downstream experiments/ analysis. 

Dr Genevieve Melling, Oxford Brookes University

Before we purchased our CPS we routinely analysed samples by DLS. While sample analysis is not as straight forward as with our DLS instrument (it requires you to build a sucrose gradient inside the disc prior to analysis, where with our DLS instrument you just insert the cuvette and press go) the resolution far surpasses what we were used to, and is well worth the little extra effort. We routinely analyse samples looking to detect the level at which influenza virus particles may be present.

Kevin Murphy, Technical Specialist, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics

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