The novel properties exhibited by various types of nanoparticles (NPs) with sizes ranging from a few tenths to several hundreds of nanometers have attracted enormous attention lately for a range of challenging applications including catalysis, drug delivery, biomedical diagnostics, cancer therapy, and biological sensing and imaging. Besides, there are many naturally occurring biological NPs, such as viruses, cellular organelles, and molecular assemblies. Because inhomogeneity is a prominent feature associated with NPs, development of advanced single nanoparticle techniques is of great importance to reveal the heterogeneity or the rare events otherwise masked by the ensemble-averaged measurements.
Flow cytometry (FCM) is a well-established technique for the rapid, multiparameter, and quantitative analysis of individual cells and microscopic particles in aqueous suspension. Information regarding size, shape, morphology of particles can be gathered via light scatter measurements, and biochemical attributes such as the nucleic acid content, enzymatic activity, and antigenic determinants of biological cells can be characterized via fluorescent labeling. Nevertheless, it has been challenging for the conventional FCMs to detect NPs smaller than 500 nm or dim particles having less than several hundred fluorescent molecules. Clearly, the development of advanced flow cytometry enabling rapid and multiparameter characterization of physical and chemical properties of individual nanoparticles is of great importance to nano-biotechnology and bioscience studies.
NanoFCM provides a versatile and powerful platform -Flow NanoAnalyzer for the multiparameter analysis of functional nanoparticles (7-1000 nm) at the single-particle level. for the multiparameter characterization of multifunctional NPs and viruses at the single-particle level. Light scattering is used for the measurement of nanoparticle size and size distributions. Fluorescence detection is used to analyze the chemical properties of nanoparticles. Thus, size, concentration, chemical attributes, and biological features of biomolecules conjugated on the nanoparticle surface can be characterized, and correlated analysis of these attributes can be facilitated at the single-nanoparticle level.