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Understanding Virus and Viral Vaccine Development Using Multi Spectral Advanced Nano-Tracking Analyzer (NTA)

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Dr Namrata

As the world today faces one of the biggest pandemics in the form of COVID-19, a wide range of candidate vaccines based on potential tools like viral vectors or virus like particles (VLP’s) are under development with the aim of protecting us against the life-threatening disease. For vaccines, thermostability is the key to successful global immunization programs as it can have a significant impact on the continuous cold-chain maintenance logistics, as well as on the vaccine potency. The stability of such a vaccine comes under increasing regulatory scrutiny, due to its potential effect on immunogenicity and the difficulties involved in its characterisation.

In order to comprehensively characterise stability and aggregation of vaccines, this article demonstrates the advantages of Multispectral Advanced Nanoparticle Tracking Analyser (ViewSizerTM 3000) from HORIBA Scientific. The ViewSizer 3000 can be used to understand the insights of particle sizing and viral titer[1] in the range of 10 nm to 15 µm. The combined capabilities of particle visualization, particle size and concentration measurements enable unmatched characterization and real-time monitoring of common kinetic processes such as dissolution of active pharmaceutical ingredients, self-assembly of polymers, crystallization of food and pharmaceutical products, aggregation of proteins, and particle agglomeration.

Vaccine development

The ViewSizer 3000 can assist manufacturers to optimize the product shelf-life by evaluating the degree and the rate of aggregate formation in virus or VLP’s preparation through an immediate and direct estimation of product purity and concentration. As the technology also allows particle visualization and sizing, additional nanoparticle quantification is made available in a very short time when compared to conventional Plague Assays (PA) technique.For example, Figure 2[2] shows good correlation between the two techniques to determine viral titer, establishing the potential of ViewSizer system for fast and low-cost analysis of small volume, high polydispersity samples. The technique generated the results within an impressive 15-minutes time frame, which was significantly faster than PA method that otherwise takes time ranging from a few hours to a couple of days. Moreover, being based on the Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis principle, the system visualizes particles, sizes them and measures the concentration of all virus particles, including empty virus particles and infectious aggregates.

Finally, ViewSizer’s proprietary multispectral illumination and detection enables the unique capabilities in the field of fluorescent particle analysis, extending the usefulness of the technique into harvesting materials, allowing differentiation of viruses from background host-cell debris and proteins.

Figure 2: Correlation between Viral titer using standard plague assay Vs Horiba ViewSizer 3000

Virus Purification

HORIBA Viewsizer 3000 can be used to quantify the presence of aggregates[3] and contaminants in a virus preparation which is an important parameter for those involved in the process development to optimize virus purification protocols.By incorporating three variable power (upto 250 mW) light sources (blue, green and red), the instrument can automatically select the optimum conditions for any sample analysis, overcoming the limitations of conventional NTA when analysing polydisperse samples and enabling a much larger range of particle sizes to be visualized [4].

Furthermore, by introducing the sample in easy-to-use cuvette with custom-designed cuvette insert (US patent 9,541,490), the ViewSizer 3000 can repeatedly ‘analyze and stir’ the sample, giving a reproducible result. Further, since the sample is viewed in a vertical orientation, the technique is perfect for visualizing processes such as aggregation or dissolution.


The ViewSizer™ 3000 implements breakthrough improvements to particle tracking technology that include proprietary illumination and detection methods allowing cutting-edge visualization, measurement and number concentration of nanoparticles over a wide range of sizes.So, whether you’re using advanced Nanoparticle Tracking Analyzer for the analysis of polydisperse material or for complex nanoparticle kinetic processes, the ViewSizer 3000 is a breakthrough technology, bringing better analysis to your laboratoryfor a wide range ofapplications in the field of biopharmaceuticals.

 About HORIBA India Scientific

HORIBA India is a part of The HORIBA Group of companies, headquartered at Kyoto, Japan. HORIBA operates under 05 segments – Automotive Test Systems, Process and Environmental, Medical, Semiconductor and Scientific.

HORIBA Scientific is a world’s leading supplier of scientific instruments and optical components. We celebrated 200 years (1819-2019) of existence of HORIBA JobinYvon last year. From Augustin Fresnel to Gérard Mourou, the Nobel Prize winner for Physics in 2018, and many more scientists along the way, HORIBA Scientific has achieved many accolades in its way for the new developments in the field of science and technology. The HORIBA group started its direct operations in India in 2006.

Please contact HORIBA experts at [email protected] for further details on HORIBA Scientific product line or visit our webpage at


  1. HORIBA Application note 227: Achieving Infectious Titer with Multi-laser NTA
  2. Bacteriophage 1:2, 86-93; May/June 2011; © 2011 Landes Bioscience
  3. HORIBA Application note 221: Accurate Protein Aggregation Analysis
  4. SciTechnolAdv Mater. 2018; 19(1): 732–745


  • Dr. Namrata Jain, Applications Scientist, HORIBA Scientific India
  • Kanika Thakur, Technical Marketing In-charge, HORIBA Scientific India
  • Dr. Jeffrey Bodycomb, Product Line Manager, HORIBA Scientific Irvine, US
  • Dr. Rajeev Gautam, Corporate Officer, HORIBA Ltd., Japan and President, HORIBA India
  • Dr. John Kiran Anthony, Applications Scientist and Scientific Segment Head at HORIBA Scientific India
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