Features at a glance
Simple fluids like water (low viscosity), glycerin (high viscosity) are Newtonian and exhibit viscosity effects, the dissipation of energy when particles move in such fluids. But dissolve macromolecules in these liquids –synthetic or biopolymers—and networks can form. In addition to viscosity effects, there are now elasticity effects, the storage of energy when embedded particle move. By following the mean square displacement (MSD) of tracer (probe) particles in such fluid and microrheological properties such as η*, the complex viscosity, G″, the viscous loss modulus, and G′, the elastic storage modulus, can be determined as a function of frequency.
Measurement of the autocorrelation function (ACF) using DLS techniques yields the MSD of tracer particles, which, under the right conditions, can be used to determine η*, G″, and G′ over a range of frequencies much higher than mechanical rheometers can attain. Much smaller sample volumes, in the microliters, are possible compared to mechanical instruments. Finally, since strains result from the thermally driven motion of tracer particles, these much smaller strains allow the study of fragile samples. The study of viscoelasticity in aggregating dilute protein solutions is a prime example of the benefits of DLS microrheology.
Rapid, Reliable, and Accurate Analysis
The NanoBrook 90Plus particle size analyzer incorporates all you need for fast, routine, sub-micron measurements. Based on the principles of Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS), most measurements only take a minute or two. Choose the optional avalanche photo diode (BI-APD) for weak scatters. The instrument can be upgraded later on to include potential measurement. Please see the 90Plus and 90Plus
Principles of Operation
Dilute suspensions, on the order of 0.0001 to 1.0% v/v are prepared, using suitable wetting and/or dispersing agents. A small ultrasonicator is sometimes useful in breaking up loosely-held agglomerates. Two or three mL of suspension are required to make the measurements. Disposable, acrylic square cells are used for aqueous and simple alcohol suspensions. Disposable, glass round cells with reusable Teflon stoppers are used for aggressive solvent suspensions. Just a few minutes are required for the sample and cell to equilibrate with the actively controlled temperature environment inside the NanoBrook 90Plus. A square glass cell is available if desired and special small-volume cells may be used to reduce the volume of material needed to just 50 µL or 10 µL. For aqueous samples the 50 µL is a disposable cuvette. In all cases the sample is recoverable. For very small particles the high-sensitivity BI-APD detector is invaluable.