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Archimedes is a new, highly innovative instrument which uses the technique of resonant mass measurement to detect and accurately count particles in the size range 50nm - 5µm, and reliably measure their buoyant mass, dry mass and size. Particularly useful for the characterization of protein aggregates in formulation or buffer, Archimedes is also able to distinguish between proteinaceous material and contaminants such as silicone oil by means of comparing their relative resonant frequencies and buoyant masses.


Archimedes is an innovative, high-performance system which harnesses the technique of resonant mass measurement in order to detect and count particles in the size range 50nm - 5µm and to measure particle mass and size. Archimedes is uniquely positioned to quantitatively measure protein aggregates within and beyond the range of 200nm - 5µm, highlighted as a particular concern for immunogenicity and product safety.

Central to Archimedes is a MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems) technology sensor, allowing the highly sensitive, reliable and reproducible measurement of aggregates, one by one. Archimedes is also capable of providing information on sample concentration, viscosity, polydispersity, density and volume, and distinguishing between negatively buoyant proteinaceous particles and positively buoyant contaminating silicone oil droplets.

Parameters measured:

  • Particle number.
  • Particle size.
  • Particle buoyant mass.
  • Particle dry mass.
  • Particle density.
  • Particle surface area.
  • Sample volume.
  • Sample concentration (particles/mL).
  • Sample density.

Key Benefits:

  • Ideally positioned for biopharmaceutical manufacturers and developers.
  • Unique and accurate particle counting capability in the size range 50nm - 5µm.
  • Exquisite sensitivity: measurement of particle mass to 350ag.
  • Highly accurate particle size measurement from 50nm to 5µm.
  • Excellent size resolution, <20nm at 1µm diameter.
  • Low sample consumption: only 100µL.
  • Differentiation between negatively buoyant and positively buoyant particles.
  • Capable of measuring high concentration samples (to 109 particles/mL) and high viscosity samples (to 100cP).
  • Fast, NIST-traceable calibration.
  • Highly reproducible results.
  • Intuitive and flexible ParticleLab software.

How it works

Archimedes uses the technique of resonant mass measurement to count and characterize particles. At the heart of Archimedes is a MEMS (micro electro-mechanical systems) sensor. Two types of sensor: the Micro sensor and the Nano sensor, are available for various applications. Each sensor comprises a microfluidics network and a minute cantilever which resonates with a particular frequency. Embedded in this cantilever is a microfluidic channel. As the advanced fluidics system of Archimedes pushes sample through this channel, the resonant frequency of the cantilever alters. This shift in the frequency of resonance is measured by a laser, focused on the tip of the cantilever, which is then transmitted to a split photodiode detector.

Each particle which passes through the sensor causes a change in the resonant frequency, giving an accurate and precise measurement of the particle’s buoyant mass – whether positive or negative - in the sample. From this measurement, the mass, size (equivalent sphere), and surface area of the particle are calculated. Overall measurements are also made of sample concentration, density, volume, and polydispersity.

Accompanying Archimedes is ParticleLab software, offering flexibility and versatility in both instrument control and data manipulation and presentation. ParticleLab is straightforward and intuitive, enabling precise instrument control and adjustment and a range of data handling capabilities.


Archimedes is able to measure a wide range of parameters simply and quickly, following the principles of resonant mass measurement.

Measurement type 1: Particle Size

Measurement range:
50nm* - 5µm.
Better than +/- 1% on NIST traceable latex standards.
Precision / Repeatability:
Better than +/- 1% on NIST traceable latex standards.
Better than +/- 20nm at 1µm, polystyrene beads in H2O.

Measurement type 2: Particle Buoyant Mass

Lower Limit of Detection:
Better than +/- 3% on NIST traceable latex standards.
Precision / Repeatability:
Better than +/- 3% on NIST-traceable latex standards.

Measurement type 3: Particle Counting/Sample Concentration

Measurement range:
104 particles/mL – 109 particles/mL.
Better than +/- 10% on NIST traceable latex standards.
Precision / Repeatability:
Better than +/- 5% on NIST traceable latex standards.

Measurement principle: Resonant Mass Measurement.

Drawn sample volume:
Measured Sample Volume Range:
10nL - 10µL.
Sample Viscosity Range:
<1cP -100cP
Accuracy in Fluid Density:
<0.002g/cc for densities in range 0.8g/cc – 1.2g/cc.
US 8087284 B2.
Light source:
685nm, 35mW laser.

Weight and dimensions

Dimensions (W, D, H):
610mm x 585mm x 305mm.
110V or 220V.

Operating environment

18°C – 25°C.
35% - 80% non-condensing.
Sample dependent



Calibration standards NIST monodisperse calibration standards for Micro and Nano sensors Image Two types of NIST standards, one each for Hi-Q Micro and Nano sensors used in Archimedes. More information
Sensors The heart of Archimedes Image MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems) sensors provide the central functionality of Archimedes, enabling resonant mass measurement of particles. More information
Vials and seals Two types of screw-top glass vial – 20mL and 40mL capacity - are available for use with Archimedes. By using the dedicated vial seals a snug fit to the instrument is created, enabling pressure to be maintained throughout Archimedes’ fluidics system. 20mL and 40mL screw-top glass vials. Vial seals create a pressure-tight fitting. Vials need only be finger-tight. Additional seals available for snug fitting of fluidics lines into reference and waste bottles. Inserts such as eppendorf tubes may be used for smaller sample volumes inside 20mL vial. Sample may be drawn directly from a syringe placed inside 40mL vial.
Reference fluid and Detergent Both deuterated water and a detergent solution are provided for use with Archimedes. Deuterated water provides a fluid density gradient inside Archimedes’ fluidics system, and should be pre-mixed with deionized water for optimal operation of the system. Detergent is designed for use when Archimedes is measuring protein solutions and will clean both sensors and the internal fluidics network of the instrument. Pre-prepared, long-lasting detergent acts within seconds to remove stubborn aggregates and debris. Deuterated water is used in small volumes to provide a density gradient in Archimedes and keep sample flow moving in the required direction. Simple and intuitive use with Archimedes.


When you purchase a Malvern product we understand that this is just the first stage of a working relationship that will last for the lifetime of the instrument. Some customers just need to ask an occasional question or to download a software upgrade, whilst others require a comprehensive support contract with priority call out and fixed cost of ownership. Whatever your situation Malvern will provide the right support for you.

Help Desk

  • Telephone and email support.
  • Operators who take responsibility for your call and ensure your query is answered. 


  • On Site training courses
  • Classroom training
  • E-learning

Resource center

  • Application notes
  • Technical notes
  • On demand presentations
  • Live webinars

Software downloads

  • A simple mechanism for receiving updates and new features

Platinum and Gold Service Contracts

  • Protection from the cost of downtime
  • No time lost in obtaining help when you need it
  • Fixed cost of ownership

Bronze Service Agreements

  • Protect the value of your investment
  • Reduce the risk of downtime
  • Protect the validity of your data

Resource center search

Free access to exclusive content including webinars, presentations, application notes, technical notes, whitepapers and more. Enter your search term in the box and use the drop down boxes to filter the results.

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Characterize subvisible protein particles in formulations Webinar - Recorded (English)

Guest presenter - Prof. Dr. John Carpenter, University of Colorado Counting and sizing of subvisible particles in therapeutic protein formulations are critically important activities for product development and quality assurance. Such characterizati...

Date recorded:
March 25 2015

Keywords: English Webinar - Recorded Eastern Time Resonant mass measurement Protein aggregation Biopharmaceutical development Archimedes 

A fantastic voyage through the arena of nanoparticle drug delivery Webinar - Recorded (English)

The use of nanoparticles as drug delivery vehicles has seen a large amount of research and investment over the last decade as they have the potential for great benefits in the targeting and efficacy of drug treatments. The interest in them is largely...

Zetasizer range,Archimedes,NanoSight range
Date recorded:
March 18 2015

Keywords: English Zetasizer range Dynamic Light Scattering Webinar - Recorded Eastern Time Resonant mass measurement Archimedes NanoSight range Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis 

Archimedes User Manual (English) User Manual (English)

User manual for the Archimedes instrument

Keywords: English User Manual Archimedes 

Nanobubbles - separating the fact from fiction Webinar - Recorded (English)

Ultra-Fine (nano) bubbles have garnered increasing interest over the last few years as they open up the potential for improvements in a variety of applications from cleaning to agriculture. However they are still somewhat a mystery with respect to th...

Archimedes,Zetasizer Nano range,NanoSight range
Date recorded:
October 30 2014

Keywords: English Particle concentration Particle size Dynamic Light Scattering Webinar - Recorded Eastern Time Zetasizer Nano range Resonant mass measurement Archimedes NanoSight range Nanobubbles Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis 

Coriolis Pharma: Subvisible particle characterization by resonant mass measurement (Archimedes) during biopharmaceutical development Webinar - Recorded (English)

The characterization of subvisible particles is highly relevant for the development of biopharmaceuticals to ensure quality and safety of a therapy. The expectations by the authorities are increasing, which makes it necessary to include analytical me...

Date recorded:
September 16 2014

Keywords: English Particle concentration Particle size Sub-visible particles Webinar - Recorded Greenwich Time Resonant mass measurement Protein aggregation Proteins Bioformulation development Archimedes 
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