The Brookhaven Instruments BI-DCP Disc Centrifuge is providing to be crucial piece of equipment for a group of polymer researchers led by, Dr. Steve Armes. The team, based at the University of Sussex in the UK, is developing new polymer nanocomposite particles for a range of important uses including better ways to diagnose deadly illnesses and improving radar-absoring materials for the military.
“If I was only allowed one particle sizing technique in my laboratory, it would be a BI-DCP,” said Dr. Armes. “We make polymer-based particles of various types, and we were looking for a particle sizing technique with a wide dynamic range but excellent resolution.”
The Sussex team’s work has already led to a number of successful international collaborations. For example, a few years ago, Dr. Armes, collaborated with Abbott Laboratories, in Chicago, to develop ummunodiagnostics assays for pregnancy testing kits, HIV and hepatities B. His group is currently working with BASF (Ludwighafen, Germany) to develop particles for use in scratch resistant coatings.
Their lastest project is to apply metal coatings to latex particles. “There is a wide range of potential applications for metal-coated latexes,” explained Dr. Armes, “possibly in military camouflage since the particle should reflect or absorb a broad spectrum of radiation.”
Dr. Steve Armes’ group at Sussex was supported by Dr. Peter McFadyen. “Peter is Ph.D. in colloid chemistry by training. He worked as a post doctoral fellow with Professor Egon Matijevic, at Clarkson University, who is one of the most famous colloid chemists in the business. That kind of expertise really show,” said Dr. Armes.