NanoSight nanoparticle characterization systems available from Particle & Surface Sciences are used for early detection and treatment of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women.
Particle & Surface Sciences are the sole distributors throughout Australia and New Zealand for the NanoSight nanoparticle characterization systems.
Speaking at the 2010 Technology World/NanoForum event at London’s ExCeL centre, CTO of NanoSight, UK, founder Dr Bob Carr discussed the potential of nanotechnology for early disease detection and treatment of the pre-eclampsia condition.
Pre-eclampsia in pregnant women remains a prominent cause of maternal and perinatal death. Symptomless for most of its course and relentlessly progressive, no other complication of pregnancy is so common and so dangerous for both mother and baby.
Exosomes are 30nm - 100nm vesicles formed in blood as they shed from cells. Known to have key roles in intercellular communication, exosomes are promising biomarkers for early detection of pre-eclampsia but constraints caused by technological limitations for measurement of exosomes have impeded development in this area.
Current technologies include electron microscopy, western blotting, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and conventional flow cytometry that all have weaknesses in detection and characterization of exosomes.
Working with researchers at Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals/University of Oxford, NanoSight has developed a unique technology, which can for the first time detect phenotype exosomes.
Starting in 2005, NanoSight developed a method of laser illumination, which enables detection and counting of populations of nanoparticles in real time and with little sample preparation.
Called Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA), this method simultaneously measures sizes of many particles on a particle-by-particle basis to give a uniquely detailed particle size distribution.
Supported by a grant from The Wellcome Trust, the teams have combined fluorescent labelling with NTA to produce a capability to speciate these exosomes. This development effectively extends the power of flow cytometry downwards by nearly one order of magnitude to the 50-600nm size range, and will perhaps provide early detection of a range of thrombosis-related diseases.