The Nanotechnicum houses several instrument suites for particle characterization, thermal, and optical analysis.
The Nanotechnicum also maintains a radioactive lab for determining the degree of protein resistance of medical devices, quantifying ligand attachment to surfaces, or labeling nanoparticles. The Nanotechnicum’s state-of-the-art instrumentation is managed and maintained by BI staff with long-term expertise in different areas of nanomaterials.
Particle Characterization Suite
Malvern Zetasizer Nano ZSP
Measures particle size distribution by dynamic light scattering (intensity based measurement) in the size range of 0.3 nm – 10 µm. In addition, the Zetasizer can also measure the zeta potential of particles 3.8 nm – 100 µm.
Malvern Mastersizer 2000
Measures the particle size distribution of samples by laser diffraction (volume-based measurement) in the size range of 0.02 µm to 2000 µm. A Hydro 2000S wet dispersion unit is attached to measure samples in solution with control of stir rate and sonication for optimal sample dispersion.
Malvern Nanosight NS300
Measures particle size distribution by nanoparticle tracking analysis (number based measurement) in the size range ~10 nm (material dependent) – 1 µm. In addition, the Nanosight provides information on the particle concentration by providing the number of particles/mL measured. Fluorescent mode is also available with the option of using one of 4 different lasers: 405nm, 488nm, 532nm, and 638 nm. Several different flow plates are availably including a low volume flow plate using only ~300 µL of sample.
Micromeritics Mercury Porosimeter Autopore V
Characterizes the porosity of samples by mercury intrusion (i.e., relating the pressure needed to intrude mercury into the pores to pore size). Can provide information about the pore size distribution, pore volume, pore surface area, pore diameter, and sample density. Includes both low pressure and high pressure measurements ideal for pore sizes 0.003 µm – 500 µm.
Particle Metrix Zeta View Twin 405/488
Determines concentration, size and zeta potential of nanomaterial suspensions, and for evaluation of fluorescently labeled samples, including for biological samples such as extracellular vesicles and exosomes.
Thermal and Mechanical Characterization Suite
TA Instruments Discovery DSC (Differential Scanning Calorimeter)
Measures thermal properties of materials such as glass transition, crystallization, melting, etc. Features of the Discovery DSC include a refrigerated cooling system allowing it to achieve a lower temperature of -90°C and an automated sample tray for easy evaluation of multiple samples.
TA Instruments Discovery TGA (Thermal Gravimetric Analysis)
Measures the degradation behavior of materials. Features a sensitive thermobalance, IR heated furnace, and automated sample tray. The TGA is configured to run the sample in either nitrogen or air.
TA Instruments Nano DSC (Differential Scanning Calorimeter)
Measures the stability of biomolecules in solution. Uses small amounts of sample and features an auto sampler for high throughput analysis of samples.
TA Instruments Nano ITC (Isothermal Titration Calorimeter)
Analyzes the biomolecular binding of biological molecules in solution. The Nano ITC is a low volume instrument using very small quantities of sample (ideal for precious protein samples). Features a flexible injection syringe for controlled injection of sample into the cell.
TA Instruments Discovery Hybrid Rheometer 2 (DHR – 2)
Characterizes the viscoelastic properties of a variety of soft materials including polymer solutions, melts, colloidal gels, biofilms, pastes, hydrogels and other complex fluids. This capability will support fundamental studies on structure-property relationships and assist the design of materials with novel properties.
Optical Characterization Suite
Jasco J-815 Circular Dichroism (CD) Spectrometer
Measures the optical CD signal of a sample. Often used for characterizing chiral materials or for elucidating secondary structure of proteins. The J-815 features a Peltier cell holder allowing for temperature controlled measurements and a fluorescent detector for simultaneous fluorescent signal measurements.
Jasco J-1700 Circular Dichroism (CD) Spectrometer
Measures the optical CD signal of a sample. Often used for characterizing chiral materials or for elucidating secondary structure of proteins. The J-1700 features both a far-UV detector and a NIR detector allowing for seamless measurements from wavelengths 163 nm – 2500 nm
Jasco Circularly Polarized Luminescence Spectrometer (CPL) 300
Provides chiroptical data on the first excited state of the sample. The difference between the left and right circularly polarized emissions from the sample are analyzed providing structural properties of the first excited state.