Spectradyne nCS1 Overview

Table of Contents

A Modern Implementation of Proven Technology
The nCS1 Difference
How MRPS Works
Spectradyne nCS1 and Microfluidic Cartidges
Spectradyne nCS1 Applications
Example nCS1 Applications
Spectradyne nCS1 Specifications

A Modern Implementation of Proven Technology

Spectradyne’s nCS1™ instrument (see Figure 1) characterizes nanoparticles with Microfluidic Resistive Pulse Sensing (MRPS, a.k.a. the Coulter Principle), a well-established method that is said to be the gold standard for whole blood measurements. The RPS method has been updated using Spectradyne’s patented nanoparticle analyzer (NPA) technology. The core of the technology is the microfluidic cartridge (Figure 1), which allows the electrical detection of nanoparticles as they travel one by one through a nanoconstriction.

The nCS1 Difference

  • No reliance on particle material type
  • Sizing range: 50 nm to 2 µm diameter
  • High-resolution size distribution
  • Arbitrary polydispersity
  • Disposable microfluidic cartridges
  • Total sample analysis in minutes
  • Only 3 µL sample needed
  • Truly orthogonal to light-based methods

How MRPS Works

How MRPS Works

Particles in fluid pass through a nanoscale constriction (NC) as illustrated on the left side. A voltage drop is applied constantly across the two sides of the NC. As particles pass through the NC, the output signal changes in proportion to the volume of the particle.

Particles are measured independently, with no reliance on particle material.

Spectradyne nCS1 and Microfluidic Cartidges

Spectradyne nCS1 and Microfluidic Cartidges

Figure 1. The Spectradyne nCS1 occupies a small bench top footprint, approximately 1.5 sq ft (left). Only 3 µL of analyte is required for analysis using a disposable microfluidic cartridge (right), which prevents contamination between measurements and eliminates cleaning requirements.

Spectradyne nCS1 Applications

  • Nanomedicines
  • Drug ingredients: excipients, lipids, carriers, etc.
  • Biologics: viruses, protein aggregates, etc.
  • General nanoparticles: gold/silver, metal-oxide nanoparticles, silicon-derived, etc.

Example nCS1 Applications

Measurement of polydisperse samples:

Measurement of polydisperse samples

In the graph above, results are illustrated for an equal parts mixture of polystyrene beads having NIST-certified mean diameters of 52, 94,122 and 150 nm measured using the nCS1, and also by an autonomous laboratory using DLS and nano-tracking analysis (NTA).

Only the nCS1 has adequately high resolution to plainly resolve the four components of the mixture, and properly return concentrations for each within the manufacturers specification.

Measurement of submicron protein aggregates:

Measurement of submicron protein aggregates

In the example illustrated above, protein aggregates in a proprietary protein formulation were exactly quantified by the nCS1. Five samples were provided: one unstressed sample and four samples subjected to increasing levels of stress (10, 20, 30 and 60 minutes of stress). The sample was run “as-is”: no dilution or additives were needed.

The nCS1 was able to unmistakably show increased aggregation with greater stress. Protein aggregates are hard to measure by DLS or NTA, since they depend on optical contrast, which is very low in this type of sample.

Spectradyne nCS1 Specifications

Technology Microfluidic Resistive Pulse Sensing (MRPS)
Acceptable particle types All materials (for example transparent/opaque, conducting/insulating, etc.)
Particle Size Range 40 nm to 2,000 nm
Sizing/Concentration Precision Sizing < ±3%, Concentration < ±10% (particles/ml)
Measurable Concentration Range 105 to 1012 particles/ml (sample dependent)
Sample Size Required 3 µL
Maximum Particle Detection Rate ≈ 10,000 particles/sec (sample dependent)
Instrument Control Interface USB to Windows computer
Data Analysis Software Proprietary signal extraction method, real-time signal display, real-time concentration display, multiple filtering methods, multi-dimensional data display, PDF report export
Physical Characteristics 13” W x 15” L (33 cm W x 38 cm L)
Electrical Standard 120/220 V, 50/60 Hz AC


This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Spectradyne.

For more information on this source, please visit Spectradyne.

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