Scientists Discovered New Technique To Measure Nanoparticles’ Mass


Measuring the mass of a nanoparticle is a complex job. Recently, MIT engineers have discovered a way to measure its mass. Measurement of mass of a nanoparticle would help the scientists in better understanding the functioning and composition of the nanoparticles.

The new system developed is known as SMR-Suspended Microchannel Resonator. It measures the mass of the minutest of particles with a better resolution than an attogram. An attogram is a very precise and accurate SI unit of mass which is equal to 10-18 grams.  But this new technique, is even more promising than an attogram. It measures weight of the particles that include both biological components of cells and synthetic nanoparticles.

Nanotechnology is the technology in which extremely small particles behave collectively as a single unit with respect to its transport and properties. They are classified on basis of diameter. One of them is NANOPARTICLES or Ultrafine particles which are between 1 and 100 nanometers in size.

The SMR is based on a previous technology which was developed by Scott Manalis, a biological and mechanical engineering professor of MIT. He had developed this technology for measurement of weight of slightly larger particles.

As reported by leading researchers, this new technology gives a 30-fold improvement over the earlier prevailing device and it operates by reduction of the size of the whole system, which increased the system’s resolution to around 0.85 attograms.

Using this technology, doctors can measure and weigh small viruses, extracellular vesicles, and most of the engineered nanoparticles that are being used for nanomedicine. Therefore, this will revolutionalize the age of health and medicines.

This research was published in the National Academy of Sciences.


  • Kurtis Engle

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