Nanoparticle tracking helps characterize 'nanoconstructs' for biomedical applications

Scientists at Duke University (Durham, NC)'s Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics, led by Professor Tuan Vo-Dinh, applied nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) to characterize metal nanoparticle construct materials for use in biosensing, imaging, and cancer therapy.

To accomplish this, Dr. Hsiangkuo Yuan and other members of Vo-Dinh's group first designed and fabricated metal nanoparticle constructs such as gold nanostar platforms, which were then characterized with UV-VIS, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Raman microscopy, fluorometers, and other techniques. But to design nanoconstructs for in-vivo applications, the particle size needs to be in the 10–100 nm range for lower clearance from the kidney and reticuloendothelial system (RES). It is also important that the construct is physiologically stable (non-aggregated) for biomedical applications such as optical imaging or nanodrug delivery, where the nanoparticle dose administered must be determined. To compare plasmonic properties (the enhanced electromagnetic properties of nanoparticles), they need to determine the effect of different sizes and to understand in detail the profile of the particle size distribution of similar concentrations. Recognizing this, the team turned to NTA (using an NTA system from NanoSight [Salisbury, England]).

Professor Tuan Vo-Dinh discusses results from his NanoSight NS500 with Dr. Hsiangkuo Yuan from his research group
Professor Tuan Vo-Dinh discusses results from his NanoSight NS500 with Dr. Hsiangkuo Yuan from his research group. (Image courtesy of NanoSight)

Prior to NTA, the group mostly used TEM to look at particle shape and measure particle size. The surface coating or the aggregation state cannot be easily investigated using just TEM; NTA paired with TEM provides hydrodynamic size distribution and zeta potential. It also allows them to normalize their comparison by individual particle counting.

The team has published its work in the journal Nanotechnology, with another paper currently in press for Nanomedicine. For more information, please visit


Follow us on Twitter, 'like' us on Facebook, and join our group on LinkedIn

Follow OptoIQ on your iPhone; download the free app here.

Subscribe now to BioOptics World magazine; it's free!

Get All the BioOptics World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to BioOptics World Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now
Related Articles

Merz acquires laser tattoo removal device maker ON Light Sciences

Merz North America has acquired ON Light Sciences, which develops technologies to enhance laser-based dermatology procedures.

Shortwave-infrared device could improve ear infection diagnosis

An otoscope-like device that could improve ear infection diagnosis uses shortwave-infrared light instead of visible light.

Laser therapy extracts rare tumor that grew human hair, skin in boy's skull

About four years ago, a tumor comprised of human skin, hair, bone and cartilage was fast-growing inside a Ramsey, MN, 10-year-old youth's brain.

Low-level laser therapy could speed muscle recovery at Rio 2016 Olympics

The gold medal-winning women’s U.S. Gymnastics team is reportedly experimenting with infrared light therapy to alleviate pain and reduce swelling in its athletes. (Update: A spokesperson for ...

Neuro15 exhibitors meet exacting demands: Part 2

Increasingly, neuroscientists are working with researchers in disciplines such as chemistry and p...

Why be free?

A successful career contributed to keeping OpticalRayTracer—an optical design software program—fr...

LASER Munich 2015 is bio-bent

LASER World of Photonics 2015 included the European Conferences on Biomedical Optics among its si...

White Papers

Understanding Optical Filters

Optical filters can be used to attenuate or enhance an image, transmit or reflect specific wavele...

How can I find the right digital camera for my microscopy application?

Nowadays, image processing is found in a wide range of optical microscopy applications. Examples ...



Twitter- BioOptics World