Single Nanoparticle Analysis
Nanoscale structures mediate many cellular functions, including intracellular transport and intercellular signaling, and engineered nanoparticles are emerging as important tools for disease diagnosis and treatment. Most molecular analysis methods report bulk or average properties of nanoparticle preparations, and do not readily reveal population heterogeneity.
However, because of their small size, it is difficult to make quantitative molecular measurements of single nanoparticles. To address this challenge, we are adapting flow cytometry as a sensitive and high speed method for the optical analysis of individual nanoparticles. High efficiency light collection, sensitive detectors, and extended measurement integration times enable the quantitative measurement of individual nanoparticles.
We are using these approaches for the analysis of cell-derived membrane vesicles and synthetic model membrane vesicles, as well as to guide the engineering of nanoparticle probes for detection applications.