Just Press a Button

In my last post I tried to give a sense of just how easy and convenient Beckman Coulter’s DelsaMax dynamic light scattering instruments are to use. Today I would like to add to that by describing – in very simple terms – what the user actually does to obtain particle size and zeta potential information from these analysers.

I have already mentioned that putting samples into the machine is very straightforward compared to other manufacturers’ particle characterisation equipment. I should also mention that these DelsaMax nanoparticle analysis machines can be connected to an HPLC autosampler. This allows as many as a hundred samples to be loaded at once, while the user is free to operate the instrument and monitor progress remotely via the internet.

I will take the DelsaMax PRO again as our example, as this model measures both particle size and zeta potential. The first thing the operator is presented with is a touchscreen display, which forms the instrument’s front panel. This gives information from the system’s laser detectors as well as displaying real-time determinations of zeta potential – or electrophoretic mobility, as it is sometimes known. It also gives access to the autocorrelation function, which is used in determining particle size.

You will often find that DelsaMax PRO is set up in an arrangement with DelsaMax ASSIST. The purpose of this piece of equipment is to prevent bubbling. If you have ever applied an electric field to a salt-containing buffer solution you will know that it generates bubbles through electrolysis. DelsaMax ASSIST virtually eliminates this problem.

So now you are ready to carry out the analysis. To do it, you simply press a button. Almost instantly you will see information on particle diameters and zeta potential starting to appear on the display. If you are interested in particle size distribution, click to ask for that and an accurate graph will appear – with timeable resolution thanks to a proprietary algorithm that avoids the need for guesswork.

As you can see, with DelsaMax analysers the determination of particle size and zeta potential is not just accurate but extremely quick and simple.