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Instruments

Multisizer 3

Since the introduction of the Multisizer 3 in 2001, it has remained a workhorse instrument of cell and particle analysis labs around the world.

Offering particle detection with an overall cell size range of 0.4 um to 1,200 um the Multisizer 3 offers great flexibility for most routine applications.

Benefits

Feature Benefit
Aperture sizes from 20 uM to 2 mm Flexibility to adapt instrument for multiple needs.
Overall sizing range of 0.4 μm to 1200 μm depending on aperture used. (Note: detection using smallest apertures dependent on sample preparation and handling)
Multiple aperture choices and ability to overlay data collected from different apertures Analyze complex samples with wide particle size distribution
Redesigned signal processing system Increased dynamic range and reduced noise for small particle detection
Automatically detects aperture blockages Worry free operation
Volumetric metering pump compatible with aqueous and organic fluids Accurate particle density even in non-aqueous solvent systems
Automated routines and easy wizards are available to help design experiments Usability for any skill/experience level
Digital Pulse Processor (DPP) Enhanced statistical and pulse analysis capabilities for detailed analysis during run and post-acquisition reprocessing
Provides number, volume, mass and surface area size distributions in one measurement Multi-parametric analysis of each particle detected
Proven Coulter Principle technology that detects particles independently of refractive index, color or composition Measure any particle that can be dispersed in electrolyte solution
Multiple SOM/SOP configurations and V-check validation package Quality Assurance ready
Multiple security levels Enables 21 CFR Part 11 Compliance
Software not license restricted. Can be installed on multiple computers for offline processing to free up instrument to run samples Maximize operational time for running samples
Over 6,000 documented references using the Coulter Principle
Nine approved ASTM methods
Technology defined by the International Standard ISO 13319
Proven technology with decades of research and industry backing

Applications

Pharmaceutical QC
  • Filtration efficiency
  • Sub-visible particle monitoring and characterization
  • Bioprocessing monitoring
Food & Beverage QC
  • Yeast monitoring
  • Flavor emulsions
  • Monitoring particle levels
Industrial QC
  • Semiconductor nanoparticles
  • Metallic colloid nanoparticles
  • Toner
  • Abrasives
  • Cosmetics
  • Emulsions
  • Beads
  • Powders
Marine Biology
  • Plankton density
  • Depth Sedimentation
Cell Biology
  • Cell Counting
  • Cell Growth
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell Aggregation
  • Stem Cell Spheroid monitoring
Microbiology
  • Bacteria counting
  • Bacterial proliferation
  • Antibacterial agent testing

Product Performance

Digital Pulse Processor (DPP)

Proprietary Digital Pulse Processor (DPP) technology samples analog voltage signals millions of times per second giving particle count as well as information about the size, volume and shape characteristics of the particle. As such the Multisizer 3 collects multiple parameters for each object it senses passing through the aperture.

Maximum flexibility in data analysis

Pulse data generated by each particle is stored and saved without loss of information. Re-run data at any time using different analysis parameters without the need to change hardware or repeat the sample run.

Simple software for all

For beginners and experienced users alike, test procedure setup and reporting are made simple through wizard-based guidance. Standard operating methods and procedures can be saved to ensure consistent operation in standardized tests by any user. This also facilitates the sharing and exchange of data and methods across company sites and collaborating labs.

V-Check Program

The V-Check Program is a comprehensive package that includes the necessary documentation for instrument validation. It consists of a number of integrated components designed to provide assurance that the product is fit for its intended purpose and will deliver consistent performance.

Specifications

Spec Value
Overall Particle Size Range 0.4 µm to 1200 µm in diameter
Aperture Diameter 20 µm to 2000 µm apertures (nominal diameters)
Aperture Range Standard 2% - 60%
Resolution User selectable
Number of Channels Binning from 3 - 300 channels.
Number of channels and range can be reprocessed as necessary
Electrolyte Solutions All aqueous and non-aqueous electrolyte solutions recommended for use with aperture technology will be suitable for use with the Multisizer 3. Electrolytes should be compatible with glass, fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers and stainless steel
Digital Pulse Processor Proprietary high-speed digitization of the signal
Pulse Data Time stamped pulses up to 525,000 per signal analysis
Size Distribution Data Size distribution by diameter, volume and area for number, number%, number/ml, volume, volume%, volume/ml, surface area, surface area% and surface area/ml
Pulse Distribution Data Pulse distribution by time, sequence and width for pulse height diameter, pulse height volume, pulse height volt, pulse width, pulse area, average pulse height diameter, average pulse height volume and average pulse width. Number distribution by width.
Linearity ± 1% for diameter        ± 3% for volume
Total Count Mode Up to 500,000 counts
Modal Count Mode Up to 100,000 counts
Volumetric Mode Continuously selectable from 50 µl to 2000 µl
Volumetric Pump Accuracy Better than 99.5%
Regulatory Compliance The software enables 21 CFR Part 11 compliance
Dimensions Weight and Power (excluding computer) Height: 45 cm (17.75 in)
Width: 43 cm (17 in)
Depth: 63.5 cm (25 in)
Weight: 34 kg (75 lb)
Input voltage within set ranges: 100 - 120 VAC; 230 - 240 VAC ± 10%; single phase
RoHS Compliant No

The Coulter Principle

The Coulter Principle

While under contract to the United States Navy in the late 1940s, Wallace H. Coulter developed a technology for counting and sizing particles using impedance measurements. The technology was principally developed to count blood cells quickly by measuring the changes in electrical conductance as cells suspended in a conductive fluid passed through a small orifice. This approach is known as the Coulter Principle and over the past seventy-five years the technology has also been used to characterize thousands of different industrial particulate materials with over 8,000 references to the uses of this technology have been documented.

Beckman Coulter systems which utilize this principle are called COULTER COUNTER® instruments. Drugs, pigments, fillers, toners, foods, abrasives, explosives, clay, minerals, construction materials, coating materials, metals, filter materials, and many other sample types have all been analyzed using the Coulter Principle. This method can be used to measure any particulate material that can be suspended in an electrolyte solution. Particles as small as 0.2 µm and as large as 1600 µm in diameter can routinely be measured using the latest Multisizer 4e system.

How it Works

In a COULTER COUNTER instrument, a tube with a small aperture on the wall is immersed into a container in which particles are suspended in a low-concentration electrolyte (Figure 1). Two electrodes, one inside the aperture tube and one outside the tube create a current path through the electrolyte when an electric field is applied. The impedance (effective resistance) between the electrodes is then measured. The aperture therefore creates a "sensing zone" and particles suspended in the electrolyte can be counted by passing them through the aperture.

As a particle passes through the aperture, a volume of electrolyte equivalent to the immersed volume of the particle is displaced from the sensing zone. This causes a short-term change in the impedance across the aperture which can be measured as a voltage or current pulse. The pulse height is proportional to the volume of the sensed particle.

Using count- and pulse-height analyzer circuits, the number and volume of each particle passing through the aperture can be electronically recorded and digitized along with several key parameters that describe each pulse such as pulse height, pulse width, time stamp, pulse area, etc.

Saved pulse data can be used to monitor sample changes over time to follow changes in the sample such as fragmentation or aggregation. Generally particle volume is usually represented in terms of equivalent spherical diameter which can be then used to obtain particle size distribution.

In modern COULTER COUNTER instruments, such as the Multisizer™3 and 4e particle counter precise control and measuring of the volume of liquid passing through the aperture allows the sample concentration to be determined.

The Coulter Principle

It generally takes less than one minute to perform a measurement with a COULTER COUNTER instrument given typical sampling rates up to 10,000 counts per second.

Available aperture sizes range from 10—2000 µm and can be used to measure particles within a size range of 2 to 80% of the nominal diameter with accuracy better than 1%. Therefore, an overall particle size-range of 0.2—1600 µm is feasible. For example, a 30 µm aperture can measure particles from about 0.6 to 18 µm in diameter. A 140 µm aperture can measure particles from about 2.8 to 84 µm.

If the particles to be measured cover a wider range than a single aperture can measure, two or more apertures can be used and the test results can be overlapped to provide a complete particle size distribution.

Highest Resolution for Particle Size Analysis

The number of pulses detected during measurement gives the particle count with the amplitude of the pulse giving the volume of the particle. Because this is a single-particle measurement process, it yields the highest resolution that any particle characterization technique can achieve. The advantages of such high resolution include the capability to display details of a particle size distribution, finer differentiation between particle sizes and more accurate statistical values calculated from the distribution.

Training Courses

File/Info Title Ref. Number
Multisizer

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