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Biophysics facility

Our biophysics facility offers two biophysical analysis technologies.

NanoSight NS300

NanoSight NS300 utilises the particle characterisation technology, Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA), to visualise and measure particles in suspension (aqueous solution only) in terms of size, light scattering intensity, fluorescence and count. NTA is a video-based analysis for particles between 20-2000 nm* (*material dependent). Its applications includes protein aggregation, exosome and microvesicle research, and drug delivery systems.

MicroCal PEAQ (Isothermal Titration Calorimeter – ITC)

This is the gold standard technique to study label-free biomolecular interactions in-solution and is a thermodynamic technique that directly measures the heat released or absorbed during a biomolecular binding event. It enables the accurate determination of binding constants (KD), reaction stoichiometry (n), enthalpy (ΔH) and entropy (ΔS). This provides a complete thermodynamic profile of the molecular interaction. The sample size for binder (e.g. proteins) is 300 ml and the minimum requirement for the concentration of binder is 1 mM while that for the ligand is 10 mM.Both NanoSight and MicroCal PEAQ ITC are available to all School of Medicine, internal Deakin University researchers, as well as external scientists from other research facilities.

No training of these instruments will be provided. Samples will be run by members of Prof. Wei Duan’s Lab.

To gain access to these instruments, please provide a copy of standard operating procedure (SOP) and complete the application form below. This is to ensure that the experimental condition (eg. buffer used, nanoparticle waste management, etc.) is suitable and would not damage the instruments, and comply with regulatory requirements. Once the SOP is approved, your booking can be made.

Download the application form (PDF, 32.2KB)

Standard operating procedure

NanoSight NS300 SOP

Occupational health and safety

Safe Work Practices

Chemical Safety

NanoSight NS300 (Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis) (KA4.308)

Image of the NanoSight NS300

Image of the NanoSight NS300 open

NanoSight NS300 utilize Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) to characterize nanoparticles from 10nm - 2000 nm*(*dependent on material) in solution. Each particle is individually but simultaneously analysed by direct observations of diffusion. This particle-by-particle methodology produces high resolution results for particle size distribution and concentration while visual validation gives users extra confidence in the data. As well as particle size and concentration,protein aggregation and viscosity can all be analysed, while a fluorescence mode provides detection of labelled particles.

The NanoSight NS300 system uses a 405 nm (violet) laser source to excite suitable fluorophores whose fluorescence can then be determined using long-pass 430 nm emission filter.

Key benefits, applications and specifications for the NanoSight NS300
Key benefits
  • Simultaneous measurement of multiple characteristics saving on time and sample quantities
  • Visual validation of results gives extra confidence
  • User friendly software with easy set-up of SOPs for routine use
  • Minimal sample preparation
  • The option of automated multiple sample analysis when used with a syringe pump or auto sampler
  • Minimal consumables reduce running costs on a day to day basis
  • High resolution particle sizing technique, ideal for polydisperse systems
  • Development of drug delivery systems
  • Viral vaccine research
  • Nanotoxicology and biomarker detection
  • Protein aggregation research
  • Extracellular vesicle characterization for various disease state studies
Key specifications
  • Size 20 nm - 2000 nm* (*dependent on material)
  • Particle concentration 1 x 106 – 1 x 109 particles per mL (must be in aqueous solution)
  • Fluorescence detection Excitation: 405 nm blue laser, Long-pass emission filter 430 nm.

Learn more about the NanoSight NS300

MicroCal PEAQ (Isothermal Titration Calorimeter; ITC) (KA4.307)

Image of the MicroCal PEAQ

Key benefits, applications, specifications and analysis software for the MicroCal PEAQ-ITC
Key benefits
  • User-friendly guided workflows with embedded help videos give any level of user the ability to generate high quality data.
  • High signal to noise gives more confidence in accessing data quality and relevance of generated affinity and thermodynamic   parameters.
  • Automated washing with detergent of the sample cell and titration syringe assists in producing high quality reproducible data.
  • All binding parameters (affinity, stoichiometry, enthalpy and entropy) in a single experiment.
  • Quick to first results with no assay development, no labelling, no immobilization and no molecular weight limitations.
  • Particle concentration
  • Particle size
  • Protein aggregation
Key specifications
  • Sensitive enough to investigate biomolecular interaction using as little as 10 μg protein
  • Directly measures millimolar to nanomolar affinities (KDS) (10-2 to 10-9 M)
  • Measures nanomolar to picomolar disassociation constants using competitive binding techniques (10-9 to 10-12 M)
  • Sample volume:280 µL
  • Cell volume:200 µL
  • Injection syringe volume:40 µL
  • Injection volume precision:< 1% at 2 µL
  • Nonreactive Hastelloy for chemical resistance and compatibility with biological samples.
  • Compatible with non-aqueous solvents.
  • The sample size for binder (e.g. proteins) is 300 ml and the MINIMUM requirement for the concentration of binder is 1 mM while that for the ligand is 10 mM.
Analysis software
  • Open multiple experiments in a single session
  • Automated fitting models (One-Site,Two-Site, Sequential, Competitive, Enzyme Kinetics, Dissociation)
  • Automated assessment of data quality
    • Good quality data - Binding
    • Good quality data - No binding
    • Poor quality data - Check data

Learn more about the MicroCal PEAQ-ITC

Hourly rate for use of equipment
UserNanoSight NS300MicroCal PEAQ ITC
Duan lab$5$4
School of Medicine$15$15
Deakin Uni$30$30

Booking policy

All bookings are to be made online using Outlook Calendar and are subjected to management approval. Minimum booking is 1 hour, followed by 30 minute increments thereafter.

*G HEALTH Medicine Lab Eqpmt ka 4.308 Nanosight300

*G HEALTH Medicine Lab Eqpmt ka 4.307 MicroCalPEAQITC

Charging starts from the time booked, so it is in your interest to arrive on time.

Cancellation policy

Cancellations can be made via the online booking system with between 24-48 hours’ notice.

Cancellations with less than 24 hours’ notice will be charged 50% of the booked time and no-shows will be charged in full.

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