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Nanomaterials Characterization Core Facility

 Click here for the Core Facility Cost Sheet:  Cost Sheet

 The expertise of the members of Center for Drug Delivery and Nanomdicine (CDDN) in studying physico-chemical properties of nanomaterials and polymers has led to establishing the Nanomaterials Characterization Core Facility. The objective of the Core Facility is to provide investigators with state-of-the-art equipment, expertise and custom services for comprehensive study of polymers and nanomaterials. We are welcome all investigators to employ the Core capabilities in your research projects.

The COBRE Nebraska Center for Nanomedicine is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Science (NIGMS) grant 5P30 GM127200-03.

The Core Facility is equipped with:  

Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS)
PerkinElmer Nexion 300Q

Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR)
BiOptix 404pi 

Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA)
Malvern NanoSight NS300

Biomolecular Imager (Typhoon)
GE Healthcare Typhoon™ FLA 9500

Chemistry Analyzer (VS-2)

Hematology Analyzer (HM-5)

Field Flow Fractionation System (FFF)
Wyatt Technology, Eclipse

Acquity UPLC-MS System (UPLC)


1. Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS)
PerkinElmer Nexion 300Q


Offers best-in-class detection sensitivity by removing spectral interferences

•High sample throughput

•Determination of elements with atomic mass ranging from 7 to 250

•Extreme sensitivity to achieve lower detection limits

•Rapid multi-element quantitative analysis

•Isotopic analyses

•Determination of metals concentration in biological samples

2. Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR)
BiOptix 404pi


 BiOptix 404pi uses surface plasmon resonance (SPR) for real-time monitoring of macromolecular interactions without the use of labels. The technology is for use in drug discovery, antibody screening, ligand fishing and therapeutics. Technological advantages include minimal sample consumption.

The BiOptix 404pi utilizes a four needle autosampler and four parallel flow cells. This allows operation in a mode that provides four times the throughput of an ordinary SPR instrument, while maintaining the sensitivity that users demand. The 404pi can also be operated in a high resolution mode for more detailed analysis of molecular interactions. Applications include:

•Protein-small molecule interactions

•Protein-protein interactions

•Antibody-antigen interactions

•Kinetics & affinities

•Epitope binning

•Nucleic acid-protein interactions

•Biomolecule concentration measurements

3. Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA)
Malvern NanoSight NS300


 The Malvern Panalytical NanoSight NS300 uses the technology of Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA). This unique technology utilizes the properties of both light scattering and Brownian motion in order to obtain the size distribution and concentration measurement of particles in liquid suspension. A laser beam is passed through the sample chamber, and the particles in suspension in the path of this beam scatter light in such a manner that they can easily be visualized via 20x magnification microscope onto which is mounted a camera. The camera operates at 30 frames per second (fps), capturing a video file of the particles moving under Brownian motion. The software tracks many particles individually and using the Stokes-Einstein equation calculates their hydrodynamic diameters.

•Simultaneous measurement of multiple characteristics, saving time and sample volume

•Suitable for exosomes and other extracellular (EVs) characterization

•Minimal sample preparation

•On board temperature control

•Choice of laser wavelengths

 The Malvern Panalytical NanoSight NS300 Instrument provides an easy-to-use, reproducible platform for nanoparticle characterization.The NS300 allows rapid, automated analysis of the size distribution and concentration of all types of nanoparticles from 10nm to 2000nm in diameter, depending on the instrument configuration and sample type. With the ability to be supplied with interchangeable laser modules and the introduction of a motorized 6 place filter wheel means different fluorescent labels can be analyzed. Sample temperature is fully programmable through the Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) software.

4. Biomolecular Imager (Typhoon)
GE Healthcare Typhoon™ FLA 9500

Typhoon FLA 9500 is a variable mode laser scanner with modular access to the optical components, providing both versatile and flexible imaging for precise quantitation of proteins, nucleic acids, and other biomolecules.

• Versatility: imaging of multifluorescent-, chemifluorescent-, radioisotope-labeled, and colorimetric samples

• High resolution and quantitation: a pixel resolution of up to 10 µm

• Precise quantitation in gels, blots, tissue sections, and arrays

•High sample throughput: scanning area of 40 × 46 cm enables simultaneous imaging of up to 20 gels or blots, measuring 10 × 8 cm in size

•Visible and infrared fluorescence imaging: optional near infrared excitation for imaging IRDye™ and other infrared dyes

5. Chemistry Analyzer (VS-2)


VetScan VS2 is a state-of-the-art chemistry, electrolyte, immunoassay and blood gas analyzer that delivers uncompromising accuracy from just two drops of whole blood, serum or plasma.

 High level of flexibility:
analyzes up to 14 different parameters grouped in 8 different indication-related diagnostic profiles

Reliable results:
levels of precision and accuracy attainable with this equipment are comparable to what you get from large-scale laboratories due to use of wet chemical analytical reactions

Minimum sample volume:
only 100 µl of whole blood is enough to measure up to 14 different parameters! 

Real-time medicine:
measures up to 14 different parameters in only 8 minutes

Since the analysis is done directly from whole blood, time-consuming sample preparation in the form of centrifugation is no longer necessary.

6. Hematology Analyzer (HM-5)


VetScan HM5 is a hematology analyzer offering a comprehensive 22-parameter complete blood count (CBC) including RBC (red blood cell count), HCT (hematocrit), HGB (hemoglobin), WBC (white blood cell count).


  • Analyzes 17 common species and 22 parameters, including direct eosinophil counts and eosinophil percentage
  • Provides full CBCs analyses
  • Fast turnaround: 3-4min to results for each sample (nearly 20 samples per hour)

7. Field Flow Fractionation System (FFF)
Wyatt Technology, Eclipse

FFF is a versatile technique for achieving analytical and semi-preparative separations. It is applicable to a wide range of analytes including proteins, polymers, viruses, gene vectors, liposomal drug nanoparticles, engineered nanoparticles, colloids and nanoemulsions.

Covering a range of sizes from 1 nm to 10 um, FFF offers programmable separation power for enhanced resolution within any size range.  Downstream of the separation channel, multiple online detectors - from multi-angle and dynamic light scattering (MALS, DLS) to analyze complex macromolecular solutions and colloidal suspensions.

8. Acquity UPLC-MS System
Waters Corporation

The primary application is for separation and analysis of biomolecules such as metabolites, proeins, and oligonucleotides.  The LC includes an auto-sampler for automated multi-sample analysis, the ability to blend up to four separate solvent streams, accommodation for multiple columns, temperature-controlled column compartments.

This instrument is equipped with a selection of reverse phase high efficiency UPLC C18 column, compatible with Water, Methanol and Acetonitrile solvents, along with a 0.1% Formic Acid modifier.  The mass spectrometer is equipped with a dual ESI / APCI ion source and performs high resolution MS analyses of chromatographic components in both positive and negative ionization modes.  An internal lock-mass ensures high mass accuracy.


To submit samples for analysis, discuss experiment design or get additional information please contact Core Facility Manager Svetlana Romanova, PhD (sromanova@unmc.edu).


Contact Information

Research Manager:
Svetlana Romanova, PhD
tel. (402) 559-9021

Core Director:
Tatiana Bronich, PhD
tel. (402) 559-9351

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