Nanomedicine & OPtical Microcavity analysis

Oxford HighQ is developing Optical Microcavity Analysis (OMCA) Instrumentation for nanoparticle characterisation, initially for use in nanomedicine.

Our technology can accurately measure nanoparticle size and refractive index. From the refractive index measurement we can calculate the mass and thus the drug load on a particle-by-particle basis, allowing measurement of drug unloading over time, 

Accurate nanoparticle characterisation for nanomedicine development can be expensive and slow. Our nanoparticle analyser solves the problem of measuring drug loading and unloading using a bench top analytical instrument that is fast, easy to use and affordable to the general research community.

Nanoparticles such as Mesoporous Silica (MSN) are trapped, optically tweezed in their native solutions, and the change in resonant wavelength of light within a micron-scale Fabry-Pérot open optical cavity is detected. This signal reports the composition of complex particles and opens up important applications in nanomedicine for providing a quantitative measurement of coating efficiency and of particle internal drug loading.

OMCA also has the potential to provide single nanoparticle sizing data similar to that obtained with TEM, but much faster and within native solutions, at a fraction of the TEM cost or complexity and with far less user training requirement.

In addition, OMCA offers rapid and consistent assessment of drug loading for smart drug delivery, be it a surface coating or internal loading, through measurement of refractive index, which can be achieved with 1% resolution.

The microcavities are plano-concave Fabry-Pérot resonators supporting well-characterised Gaussian modes of volume ~1 µm3. The mode is monitored via laser transmission relative to a reference cavity, mounted on the same chip to suppress noise. A nanoparticle entering the trap causes a red-shift and broadening of the mode that is dependent on the position of the nanoparticle within the confined field distribution.

Our first Optical Microcavity Analyser for nanoparticle characterisation for nanomedicine applications is entering it’s final development stage and we are planning a full product launch during 2021.

Demonstration instruments are currently available to perform proof-of-capability measurements on customer samples.

If you would like to receive updates including copies of our application and technical notes or are interested in having samples measured. please complete our contact request form.


OMCA number distribution of polarizability (nm3) of PMMA (196nm) and
polystyrene nanoparticles (187nm) in water.

Nanoparticle Analyser

Optical Nanoparticle Analyser

Mesoporous Silica nanoparticle

Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles ~100nm dia. 
with Camptothecin

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