Nanoparticle characterisation firm bought for £15 million

Malvern Instruments has bought nanoparticle characterisation firm Nanosight for £15 million. Nanosight’s principal technology provides measurements of nanoparticle size down to 10nm. A need to accurately measure nanoparticle size for, among other things, European regulatory requirements is driving interest in this field.

Nanosight’s characterisation tool determines size and other characteristics by firing a narrow laser beam through a liquid containing the nanoparticles of interest. The scattering of the laser light is tracked particle-by-particle to measure each nanoparticle’s diffusion speed and build up a picture of its size. The faster a particle diffuses through the liquid the smaller it is.

Aside from regulatory issues, nanoparticle characterisation and tracking is of growing importance in the life sciences where intercellular messengers can be followed as part of a process of determining disease progression.