Particle & Surface Sciences distribute NanoSight Technology systems throughout Australia and New Zealand. NanoSight Limited have announced that the University of Leeds will be utilising the Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis system for the study of wear debris generated in orthopaedic implants.
Dr. Joanne Tipper of the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, studies nanoparticle sized polymer debris, specifically polyethylene generated first in vitro (to prove its presence), and then in vivo (from tissues from failed hip replacements). The objective was first to characterise the particles and then to consider their bioactivity and effect on cell responses.
Dr. Tipper has made measurements on different materials used for implants (metal-metal, ceramic-ceramic and polymer-polymer). She has had good results on model metal and ceramic particle systems. The metal nanoparticle debris are typically in the range of 20 to 80nm, which is particularly suited for Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis when compared to light scattering methods.
Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis has proven to be easy to use and requires minimal sample preparation time as compared to SEM. When studying polymers, Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis produces reliable results for polyethylene particles in the 100-800nm range.
According to NanoSight’s chief technical officer and founder, Dr. Bob Carr, this application is typical of why nanoparticle sizing is becoming critical in many processes. According to him, understanding biocompatibility and nanotoxicology effects have contributed to the demand for their instrumentation, where researchers want to increase their knowledge of materials performance on the nanoscale. With more than 100 Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis systems in use worldwide, researchers are finding this technique suitable for nanoparticle characterisation.