We have developed a simple, fast, and accurate method to measure the absolute number concentration of nanoparticles in solution. The method combines electrospray differential mobility analysis (ES-DMA) with a statistical analysis of droplet-induced oligomer formation. A key feature of the method is that it allows determination of the absolute number concentration of particles by knowing only the droplet size generated from a particular ES source, thereby eliminating the need for sample-specific calibration standards or detailed analysis of transport losses. The approach was validated by comparing the total number concentration of monodispersed Au nanoparticles determined by ES-DMA with UV/vis measurements. We also show that this approach is valid for protein molecules by quantifying the absolute number concentration of Rituxan monoclonal antibody in solution. The methodology is applicable for quantification of any electrospray process coupled to an analytical tool that can distinguish monomers from higher order oligomers. The only requirement is that the droplet size distribution be evaluated. For users only interested in implementation of the theory, we provide a section that summarizes the relevant formulas. This method eliminates the need for sample-specific calibration standards or detailed analysis of transport losses.
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