Industry News

Malvern Zetasizer Nano "essential piece of equipment" for Iota NanoSolutions

Published on 2007-06-15. Author : SpecialChem

UK-based Iota NanoSolutions Limited (Liverpool, UK) specialises in the formation of nanodispersions of poorly soluble organic materials. For the past 18 months the company has been using the Malvern Instruments Zetasizer Nano particle characterisation system as part of its sample optimisation and quality control processes.

Demonstrating Iota's technology

Iota's patented technology enables the conversion of hydrophobic organic materials into a dry solid format, which when added to water rapidly forms colloidally stable nanodispersions of the actives. The innovative technology can also be used to form nanoparticles of organic or hydrophilic materials that are readily dispersible in non-aqueous liquids. The nanodispersions are often transparent with nanoparticles of the active present at high concentration. Iota uses the Zetasizer Nano on a daily basis to measure the particle size and stability of the dispersions. In addition to aqueous systems, the company has also performed measurements on organic solvent based systems.

Iota has applied its novel technology to more than 150 organic compounds, and has conducted over 20,000 measurements using the Zetasizer Nano, These materials are typically used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, consumer/household products, agrochemicals, inks and coatings.

The company has used AFM and TEM characterisation techniques in the past; however, these techniques only measure the nanoparticles after preparation onto a surface. Installing the Zetasizer Nano has enabled Iota to conduct characterisation studies directly on the solutions required as part of customer specifications.

In selecting the Zetasizer Nano, Dr James Long, a research scientist at Iota who routinely uses the system explained:

"Iota considered a range of 12 twelve dynamic light scattering systems available on the market at the time. In each case the same Iota formulation was examined. Malvern's was the only DLS system that gave accurate and reproducible results, confirmed by FFF analysis, and provided the greatest resolution for multimodal systems. Additionally, it has a fast speed of measurement, can output data in a number of ways and is applicable to a wide range of sample concentrations. The instrument benefits from excellent software, with free upgrades provided regularly and on an indefinite basis. Malvern provide an outstanding after sales and technical service, including online seminars which are very useful. The Zetasizer Nano is an essential piece of equipment which enables Iota to rapidly optimise its formulations to meet customer requirements."

Iota is currently considering upgrading the system to include the Zeta potential package and a titrator, which will enable completely new measurement techniques to be applied to the nanoparticle dispersions, including monitoring of the effect of pH.

About Iota NanoSolutions

Iota NanoSolutions Limited was spun out of Unilever R&D Port Sunlight, UK, in 2005 in order to develop and commercialise a set of novel proprietary technologies that allow the enhanced formulation of poorly soluble organic materials into a variety of aqueous systems.

The company's innovative platform technology enables the conversion of poorly soluble organic materials into a dry solid format, which, when added to aqueous systems, readily form stable nanodispersions of the active. The dispersions are most often transparent, with nanoparticles (10-300nm) of the poorly soluble material present at high concentration, (Figure 1). The potential benefits of the technology include:

  • Enhanced ease of formulation for insoluble materials
  • Incorporation of high active concentrations
  • Enhanced material activity
  • Rapid nanodispersion formation
  • New uses for existing materials
  • Enhanced bioavailability and physiological action

Furthermore, the technology does not require or lead to the chemical modification of actives and can be adapted to influence a number of important characteristics including nanoparticle size. The technology is generic and is applicable on a large scale, without the need for new capital equipment, to a wide array of organic effect materials used typically in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, consumer/household products, agrochemicals, inks and coatings. The company have to date, successfully demonstrated its application to over 150 organic compounds.

The technology is protected by 7 patent filings with further filings planned. Iota has completed its base research and concluded a number of feasibility and joint development contracts. The company is actively seeking development partners and is open to a range of revenue generating models.

About Malvern Instruments

Malvern Instruments is a global company that develops, manufactures and markets advanced analytical systems used in characterizing a wide variety of materials, from bulk powders to the latest nanomaterials and delicate macromolecules. Innovative technologies and powerful software produce systems that deliver industrially relevant data enabling customers to make the connection between micro (eg particle size) and macro (bulk) material properties (rheology) and chemical composition (chemical imaging). Malvern laboratory, on-line and in-line solutions are proven in sectors from cement to pharmaceuticals and support the understanding, improvement and optimization of many industrial processes.

Headquartered in Malvern, UK, the company has subsidiary organizations in all major European markets, North America, China, Korea and Japan, key partnerships in India, a global distributor network and a number of applications laboratories around the world.

Source: Malvern Instruments

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