Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) Service

  • Service Details
  • Case Study

Introduction of Dynamic Light Scattering

Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) is a mature biophysical technology that can accurately characterize the particle size in suspensions and emulsions. This technology has been widely recognized in the pharmaceutical and industrial world. DLS technology optically measures motion by recording the scattered light signals at a fixed angle. The particles are illuminated with a monochromatic coherent light source and the light scattered by the particles is recorded.

It is based on the Brownian motion, that is, in simple terms, small particles move/spread faster than large particles. The light scattered by the particles contains information about the speed of diffusion and therefore also information about the size distribution. It can measure highly concentrated and highly diluted samples, as well as parameters such as Zeta potential, molecular weight, and concentration.

With DLS, the aggregation behavior of compounds, proteins, or protein-ligand binding complexes can be characterized. The correlation between time points can be used to determine the radii of nanometer-scale objects in solution.

Figure 1. Scheme of a light scattering setupFigure 1. Scheme of a light scattering setup (Falke, S.; Betzel, C. 2019)

Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) Service by Creative Proteomics

Creative Proteomics introduced an advanced dynamic light scattering technology platform to provide scientific research assistance to researchers in various fields. We have recruited many professional DLS technicians to offer customers strong support throughout the process, especially the most critical sample preparation and data collection steps.

We can quickly and easily measure the size distribution of nanomaterials for a variety of analytes:

  • Proteins, peptides, nucleic acids and their aggregates
  • Nanodrug delivery systems such as liposomes, lipid nanoparticles (LNPs), micelles, gene vectors and viruses
  • Nanoparticles and nanoparticles
  • Polymers and hydrogels
  • Composite polymers

Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) Platform

Features of Our DLS Service

  • Fast and Accurate Measurements: Obtain comprehensive data in less than a minute.
  • Nanoscale Range: Measure particles from 0.5 nm to 2.5 µm with high resolution.
  • Non-Invasive Analysis: Preserve sample integrity with non-invasive, recoverable analysis.
  • Minimal Sample Volume: Utilize low sample volumes, enhancing efficiency.
  • Versatility: Measure stability, aggregation, molecular interactions, and more.
  • Pre-screening Efficiency: Ideal for pre-screening sample quality before costly biophysical methods.
  • Hydrodynamic Radius and Size Distribution: Provide detailed information from 1 nm to 10 µm.
  • Comprehensive Physical Analysis: Cover critical micelle concentration, gelation, aggregation, and more.
  • Zeta Potential Measurement: Determine particle charge and stability.
  • Low Volume Requirements and Regulatory Compliance: Emphasize efficiency with minimal samples and adhere to regulatory standards.

Our experienced analysts will discuss whether your samples and projects are suitable for DLS analysis, and how this analysis technique can provide additional answers to your project. Customers can choose different technology platforms according to project requirements, or contact us directly for consultation, and our expert team will provide you with customized experimental procedures.

Applications of Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) Analysis Services

Biopharmaceutical Sciences: Characterization and process development of gene therapies, vaccines, and biopharmaceuticals, including monoclonal antibodies.

Pharmaceutical Technology for Nano-Drug Development: Pharmaceutical professionals utilize DLS for the development of nano-drugs such as micelles, liposomes, nanocrystals, and polymer-controlled release particles.

Molecular Biology and Nanomedicine Research: Researchers in molecular biology and nanomedicine leverage DLS for studying liposomes, lipid nanoparticles, and extracellular vesicles.

Polymer Analysis Chemistry: Polymer analysts employ DLS to characterize biological polymers, thermoresponsive polymers, polymer solubility, and polymer latex particles.

Environmental Science: Environmental scientists utilize DLS to investigate nano-plastics, trace particles, and toxic substances in the environment.

Creative Proteomics is an international biotechnology company dedicated to research in molecular interactions and other related fields. The DLS platform we constructed has the characteristics of high sensitivity and efficiency, and the data obtained can be directly used for article publication. Our one-stop service aims to save customers time and money.

Case Integration of Standardized Dispersion Protocols and Dynamic Light Scattering for Improved Nanomaterial Hazard Assessment in Cell Media


The assessment of nanomaterial (NM) hazards lacks consistency across laboratories, necessitating the development of standardized protocols. Realistic conditions for NM exposure, influenced by diverse physicochemical properties, present challenges. Dispersion protocols, crucial for toxicological tests, vary based on NM characteristics, and understanding their impact on stability and cellular responses is vital.


The study focuses on diverse NMs, including nanometric silica (NM-101, NM-200, NM-203), titanium dioxide (NM-100, NM-101), and cerium dioxide (NM-212). These NMs, with varying primary particle sizes and compositions, represent materials commonly encountered in industrial and environmental settings.

Technical Methods

Nanomaterial Selection:

  • Diverse nanomaterials (NMs) were chosen, including nanometric silica (NM-101, NM-200, NM-203), titanium dioxide (NM-100, NM-101), and cerium dioxide (NM-212).
  • NMs represented a range of primary particle sizes and compositions relevant to industrial and environmental exposure scenarios.

Dispersion Protocols:

Standardized Protocol:

  • Utilized albumin as a dispersant.
  • Employed a standardized sonication procedure.
  • Based on protocols developed within EU NANOGENOTOX and NANoREG.

Traditional Protocol:

  • Involved simple dispersion in water.
  • Utilized brief sonication.

Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) Measurements:

  • DLS employed to monitor size distribution of NM dispersions.
  • Consideration of limitations in DLS measurements, including artifacts and interference from proteins, particularly in dilute samples.
  • Evaluation of factors such as count rate, repeatability, and overlapping of distribution curves to assess suspension stability.

Characterization of Stock Suspensions:

  • Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) coupled with Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) detector conducted under nitrogen atmosphere to confirm stability and purity of NM batches.
  • Analysis of weight loss and derivative curves to ascertain any variation in surface chemistry due to storage or manipulation.

Characterization of Stock Suspensions (continued):

  • Differentiation between NM-200 and NM-203 based on synthetic methods, impacting surface chemistry and hydrophilicity.
  • Characterization of titanium dioxide (NM-100, NM-101) and cerium dioxide (NM-212) NMs with focus on particle sizes and specific surface area.

Preparation for Toxicological Tests:

  • Two protocols employed for NM preparation, differing in the type of solution and sonication procedure.
  • Traditional protocol: NMs suspended in ultrapure water, de-agglomerated by vortexing and probe sonication.
  • Standardized protocol: Small amount of ethanol introduced, powder suspended in water with 0.05% w/v albumin, followed by sonication.

Characterization of Stock Suspensions by DLS:

  • Immediate DLS measurements post-sonication to assess hydrodynamic size distributions, average zeta size, and polydispersity index (PDI).
  • Evaluation of dispersion patterns and stability in both media (RPMI and DMEM).

Characterization of NMs in Cell Media:

  • DLS analysis of NMs in media supplemented with fetal bovine serum (FBS) at low (1 µg/mL) and high (100 µg/mL) concentrations.
  • Examination of hydrodynamic size distributions, Zeta potential, and PDI in RPMI and DMEM.

Stability During Incubation:

  • Evaluation of NM behavior in cell media (RPMI and DMEM) through DLS analysis post-dilution and after 48 hours of incubation at the highest concentration (100 µg/mL).
  • Comparison of DLS patterns between traditional and standardized protocols.

Cytotoxicity Assessment:

  • Measurement of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage as an indicator of cellular membrane damage.
  • Assessment of cytotoxic effects on THP-1 (RPMI media) and RAW 264.7 (DMEM media) cell lines for silica NMs (NM-200, NM-203).

Activation of Cells:

  • Evaluation of pro-inflammatory activation in RAW 264.7 cells through the release of nitric oxide (NO).
  • Measurement of release of cytokine IL-1β in THP-1 cells as an indication of pro-inflammatory response.

Data Analysis and Correlation:

  • Correlation of DLS data with cellular responses to understand the impact of dispersion protocols on NM behavior in cell media.
  • Consideration of the role of protein corona formation in modifying cellular responses to NMs.


Stability and Size Distribution:

  • Standardized protocols enhance stability and reduce hydrodynamic diameters for nanometric primary particle NMs (NM-101, NM-200, NM-203).
  • Negligible effects observed for sub-micrometric particle samples.

Correlation with Cellular Response:

  • Complex correlation between DLS data and cellular responses.
  • Standardized protocols mitigate cytotoxic effects in some cases but increase cellular activation in others.
  • Protein corona formation influences material-dependent responses.

Material-Specific Impacts:

  • Different materials exhibit varied responses to dispersion protocols.
  • Silica NMs (NM-200, NM-203) show distinct behaviors, with the standardized protocol mitigating cytotoxicity and stabilizing dispersions.

DLS analysis of the NM in RPMI.DLS analysis of the NM in RPMI.

DLS analysis of the NM in RPMI at 100 µg/mL at t = 0 and t = 48 h.DLS analysis of the NM in RPMI at 100 µg/mL at t = 0 and t = 48 h.


  1. Marucco, Arianna, et al. "Applicability and limitations in the characterization of poly-dispersed engineered nanomaterials in cell media by dynamic light scattering (DLS)." Materials 12.23 (2019): 3833.
* This service is for RESEARCH USE ONLY, not intended for any clinical use.