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Proceedings Paper

Sizing of colloidal particles and protein molecules in a hanging fluid drop
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Paper Abstract

We report non-invasive particle size measurements of polystyrene latex colloidal particles and bovine serum albumin (BSA) protein molecules suspended in tiny hanging fluid drops of 30 (mu) L volume using a newly designed fiber optic probe. The probe is based upon the principles of the technique of dynamic light scattering (DLS). The motivation for this work comes from growing protein crystals in outer space. Protein crystals have been grown previously in hanging drops in microgravity experiments on-board the space shuttle orbiter. However, obtaining quantitative information on nucleation and growth of the protein crystals in real time has always been a desired goal, but hitherto not achieved. Several protein researchers have shown interest in using DLS to monitor crystal growth process in a droplet, but elaborate instrumentation and optical alignment problems have made in-situ applications difficult. We demonstrate that such an experiment is now possible. Our system offers fast (5 seconds) determination of particle size, utilizes safe levels of very low laser power (less than or equal to 0.2 mW), a small scattering volume (approximately 2 multiplied by 10-5 mm3) and high spatial coherence (beta) values. This is a major step forward when compared to currently available DLS systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 January 1996
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2629, Biomedical Optoelectronics in Clinical Chemistry and Biotechnology, (8 January 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.229510
Show Author Affiliations
Rafat R. Ansari, NASA Lewis Research Ctr. (United States)
Kwang I. Suh, NASA Lewis Research Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2629:
Biomedical Optoelectronics in Clinical Chemistry and Biotechnology
Stefan Andersson-Engels; Mario Corti; Ivan Kertesz; Norbert Kroo; Heinz P. Weber; Terence A. King; Riccardo Pratesi; Stefan Seeger, Editor(s)

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