Please join us for the following AOS Seminar for Thursday, February 4 at 4:00 PM in Spiess Hall Room 330.
Speaker: Dariusz Stramski, Scripps Institute of Oceanography
Title: There must be a better way to characterize nanoparticles: The story of MANTA
Accurate measurements and knowledge of nanoparticle properties such as their concentration and size distribution are of great interest to many fields of science and technology. For many years our motivation for advancing an understanding of marine nanoparticles has stemmed from their significance to ocean optics and applications associated with satellite remote sensing of ocean color. Over 25 years ago, on the basis of modeling study, we hypothesized a major contribution of nanoparticles to light backscattering in the ocean, and hence a major source of remotely-sensed ocean color signal. However, validation of this hypothesis was impeded by the lack of reliable technologies for accurate characterization of polydisperse assemblages of nanoparticles in marine environments. Over more than two decades our experience in the area of characterizing nanoparticles included many failed attempts with the previously available instruments to get good data of size and concentration of nanoparticles in various samples. Typically, existing methods were tedious and results were not accurate or reproducible and often unusable for advancing science and related applications. We concluded "there must be a better way" and set about inventing MANTA's Most Advanced Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis technology which performs individual particle analysis simultaneously on wide ranging nanoparticle sizes co-existing in a liquid sample. I will present the story of MANTA starting with historical background and example results from our earlier modeling and experimental studies of marine nanoparticles, followed by a brief overview of MANTA's technology and discussion of example validation results. This story shows how a narrowly focused basic research in oceanography can develop into the invention with broad impacts to many applications well beyond environmental sciences, including medicine, pharmacology, and various industrial sectors and consumer products such as cosmetics, inks, coatings, food, and cleantech.