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Quantitative Sizing of Nano/Microparticles with a Tunable Elastomeric Pore Sensor

Robert Vogel, Geoff Willmott, Darby Kozak, G. Seth Roberts, Will Anderson, Linda Groenewegen, Ben Glossop, Anne Barnett, Ali Turner, and Matt Trau
Anal. Chem., 2011, 83 (9), pp 3499–3506

The use of a “size-tunable” polyurethane resistive pulse sensor for quantitative sizing of nano- and microparticles is presented. A linear relationship, as first suggested by Maxwell, between particle volume and change in electric resistance across the pore was observed. Particle sizes were quantified for a given size-tunable membrane, by first creating a linear calibration curve to a series of monodisperse carboxylated polystyrene particles of various diameters and then applying this curve to calculate the size of “unknown” nanoparticles. The diameters of a selection of synthetic and biological particles, being PMMA and nonfunctionalized polystyrene particles, along with biological nanoparticles (adenovirus) were calculated using this methodology. Calculated particle diameters and coefficients of variation were shown to be in good agreement with both transmission electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering results.

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