Data measured using the NanoSight NS300 (http://www.malvern.com/en/products/product-range/nanosight-range/nanosight-ns300/default.aspx) from Malvern Instruments is providing new insights into the role of exosomes in diseases such as cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and cystic fibrosis, in pioneering research being carried out at the University of Alabama--Birmingham (UAB). On January 27, 2016, Malvern published a press release describing the experiences that those using the NanoSight NS300 at UAB are having. “Early research on exosomes, or extracellular vesicles (ECVs), focused on their role in excreting unwanted waste from cells,” said Shawn Williams, facility manager and imaging specialist at UAB “However, we’re now starting to understand their wider functionality in intercellular communication and the transmission of disease. The NanoSight system is playing a central role in helping us advance in this new and exciting area of research, by enabling us to size, count and track the movement of these crucial molecules in their native state.” The NanoSight NS300 system is sited within an analytical service facility for the university, which also extends support to external customers on a contract basis. Approximately 85% of the analysis being carried out in the lab at UAB is associated with disease-related research. The NanoSight system is used by several hundred different researchers, so rapid training and robust measurement protocols are essential. Mr. Williams and his team have developed a series of simple procedures to support new researchers in their use of the instrument, to enable the efficient generation of accurate particle size and count data, and video footage of the exosomes within a sample.
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