Polymer Nanoparticles Used as Drug Carriers Characterized Using Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis at Saarland University, Saarbrucken

Published: Feb 12, 2013

Salisbury, UK, 12th February 2013: NanoSight reports on how Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis, NTA, is used to help with the characterization of polymeric nanoparticles synthesized as drug carrier systems. This work is being carried out at Saarland University, Saarbr├╝cken in Germany by Dr Christian Ruge and his colleagues.

In the world of pharmaceutical sciences, a detailed and full characterization of particles synthesized as drug carrier systems is indispensable. The particle size is a crucial parameter to be monitored as this will affect the stability of formulations. It will also impact with respect to size-dependent effects in biological experiments, such as the uptake of drug systems by cells.

Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis is used as a complementary tool to a Malvern Zetasizer to characterize the nanoparticles prepared by Dr Christian Ruge, a research scientist in the Department of Biopharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology in the group of Professor Claus-Michael Lehr. The particles are mainly polymer-based and typically in the size range from 100 nm to 400 nm. Especially when studying samples of moderate polydispersity (i.e. with a polydispersity index, PDI, of larger than 0.2), the group uses the NanoSight system to measure the preparations to identify particle populations which are not resolved by the Malvern system.

Talking of the benefits of using NTA rather than techniques such as scanning electron microscopy, SEM, or dynamic light scattering, DLS, Dr Ruge commented, "The fact that the system is performing particle-by-particle-based measurements is a huge advantage, especially in terms of its resolving power. The fact that the instrument gives a concentration value is very useful. I feel that "visualization" of the particles based on their scattered light gives more "insight" as to the sample and its behaviour. I personally find that it is more fun working with the NanoSight instrument compared to the Zetasizer. The interaction with the instrument and being able to visualize the individual particles makes it less of a "black box" instrument and more "interesting" for me as a scientist to use. Also, I have found that during demonstrations for students, the NanoSight appears to be more transparent and thus better suited for educational purposes."

To find out about the company and to learn more about particle characterization using NanoSight's unique nanoparticle tracking analysis solutions, visit www.nanosight.com 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 600+ third party papers citing NanoSight results. NanoSight's leadership position in nanoparticle characterization is consolidated further with publication of an ASTM International standard, ASTM E2834, which describes the NTA methodology for detection and analysis of nanoparticles. For more information, visit www.nanosight.com

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