The Thermo Labsystems Nepheloskan Ascent a nephelometer that measures directly from microplates. This system offers high sensitivity detection of particles, even in samples with low volume. The detection limit for this optical system can be as low as 1.0 ng/mL when particle diameter is around the same as the wavelength of the incident light (580 nm to 630 nm). Rather than measure absorbance, the Nepheloskan Ascent detects scattered light; as such, the unit circumvents the possibility of false positive results as there is no interference from colored or organic compounds. Compared to other photometers, this system offers a signal to noise ratio that is ten to fifty times greater.
Sensitivity is flexible with the dynamic Ascent Software, allowing the user to increase the detection limit if necessary. The microplate format of the system means that not only can multiple samples be run concurrently, but minimal quantities of compounds are required. In this way, both time and sample are conserved. This efficiency is an essential feature of the Nepheloskan Ascent, allowing the user to measure 96 wells in just 18 seconds and 1000 samples in around three minutes. For added versatility and convenience, the unit can be easily integrated with other robotic systems to provide increased automation. The platform also features an incubator and adjustable orbital shaker (60 to 1200 RPM with a diameter of 1 to 50 mm) for solubility investigations and is best suited for high throughput applications such as solubility tests of drug compounds in the ADME phase of drug discovery.