A Malvern Zetasizer Nano particle characterization system at Cornell University’s NanoBioTechnology Center (NBTC) is being used for a wide variety of applications. These range from DNA size measurement and the study of DNA-DNA interactions, through the development of photonic crystal lattices, to the creation of cylindrical nanoparticles. The system has been in place for just over one year and around 80 researchers now have access to it. Many had no previous experience of light scattering systems, so the Zetasizer Nano’s easy operation and straightforward data interpretation have been crucial in making this a truly valuable resource for such diverse research groups.
Research Associate Dr Magnus Bergkvist is responsible for equipping the laboratories and provides training for users on the available equipment. “One of the major benefits of the Zetasizer Nano is that I can deliver training in just one hour that enables anyone to use the system and perform basic data interpretation. The system is now pretty busy and is being used across all the scientific disciplines, often for applications that I never would have imagined,” he said.
The NBTC is a scientific research center within Cornell University. It has a shared, multi-user facility established to promote cross-disciplinary research in nanobiotechnology and is open to both industry and academia. “Not only do we provide instrumentation and services to supplement what is available to scientists in their own labs, we also offer consultation and can help researchers make contact with one another,” commented Dr Bergkvist.
Interest in purchasing a system for measuring nanosized particles came initially from a research group working on drug encapsulation. A survey of other facility users revealed that a number of groups would also find this kind of instrumentation helpful. The Zetasizer Nano was selected following successful evaluation and was installed in 2005.
For more information about NBTC: www.nbtc.cornell.edu