Researchers in the Institute of Applied Microbiology at Giessen University, Germany, have developed a microplate-based assay for online testing of the effects of metal nanoparticles using an Infinite® M200 microplate reader from Tecan. This technique is being used to look at the potential of engineered metal nanoparticles for treating water, inhibiting the growth of bacteria in drinking water at the point of use, and eradicating pharmaceuticals and other micropollutants from waste water. Michael Bunge, senior scientist in the Nanobioengineering group, explained: “It is clear that some metal nanoparticles are toxic to a variety of microorganisms, but we don’t know how and to what extent they affect microbial growth and survival. We have developed a straightforward technique that simultaneously cultivates microbes and uses the Infinite M200 microplate reader to monitor the effects of different sizes and compositions of nanoparticles on bacteria.”

“We chose an Infinite M200 for this application because it is a monochromator-based reader, making it easy to adjust the wavelength down to a resolution of 1 nm, which is particularly important for nanoparticle suspensions with a high background signal. I also knew from previous experience that Tecan systems were reliable. The system itself is very easy to use, and it is saving us so much time on repetitive, laborious tasks.”