Centre for Applied Nanomedicine (CAN)

The Centre for Applied Nanomedicine (CAN) at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) is a specialized technology platform and research hub for studies on extracellular vesicles (EVs) and nanosized extracellular particles (EP). These nanosized bodies, present in all bodily fluids, are implicated in cellular communication and have been found to hold diagnostic and therapeutic potential.

The CAN supports researchers aiming to decipher the biology of EVs and EPs, and their involvement in various physiological and pathological conditions. Supported by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), CAN houses a range of state-of-the-art instrumentation that includes particle counters, particle sizers and equipment enabling multidimensional single-vesicle analysis.


The Centre for Applied Nanomedicine (CAN) aims to build an environment that would support a community of researchers aiming to collaborate, exchange expertise, share and maintain state-of-the-art equipment in order to advance extracellular vesicle and nanomedicine science across a broad spectrum of basic and translational biomedical research areas.

Equipment listing

Located at the Glen site of the McGill University Health Centre, the Centre for Applied Nanomedicine is co-managed by the Immunophenotyping Platform and hosts the following equipment:

NanoSight NS300

NanoSight NS300: The NanoSight NS300 uses the technology of Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA). This technology utilizes the properties of both light scattering and Brownian motion in order to obtain the size distribution and concentration measurement of particles in liquid suspension. The camera operates at 30 frames per second (fps), capturing a video file of the particles moving under Brownian motion. The software tracks many particles individually and, using the Stokes-Einstein equation, calculates their hydrodynamic diameters. The measurement is controlled via standard operating procedures, which are set with a user-friendly software interface. NanoSight NTA NS300 provides quick and easy characterization of both the size and concentration of vesicles in aqueous buffers.


ZetaView: The ZetaView® is a nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) instrument for measuring hydrodynamic particle size, zeta potential, concentration and fluorescence. Each individual particle in the field of view is counted and tracked in short video clips, creating accurate concentration calculations, particle size distributions and determination of fluorescently labelled subparticle populations.


nCS1: The nCS1TM instrument relies on the principle of microfluidic resistive pulse sensing (MRPS) to accurately detect, measure and count particles across a broad range of sizes. MRPS represents an important orthogonal technology to ensure rapid and precise quantification of EV and particle preparations for a broad range of applications.


CytoFLEX: The CytoFLEX is a nano-flow cytometer optimized for multiparameter analysis of nanoparticles, including exosome-sized EVs. Avalanche photodiode detectors and three lasers installed on the instrument allow for efficient analysis of multiple fluorophore combinations at the level of individual particles. In addition, the violet laser (405 nm) helps to amplify the differences in the refractive indices and the ability to discriminate between small particles with a lower refractive index, such as exosomes, microvesicles and silica nanoparticles.

ImageStream®X Mk II

ImageStream®X Mk II: The ImageStream®X Mk II Imaging Flow Cytometer combines the speed, sensitivity and phenotyping abilities of flow cytometry with the detailed imagery and functional insights of microscopy. Equipped with a multimag 60X lens and wide field view 20X lenses, this Imaging Flow Cytometer allows for improved small particle detection, including EVs.


ExoView: The ExoView® platform provides the ability to measure multiple fluorescent markers on individual immobilized exosomes, extracellular vesicles or particles recording thousands of events at a time. The multiplexed array allows up to 6 markers to be probed in parallel through binding of the exosomes on an ExoView® chip. This allows for the study of biomarker colocalization on the same particle while performing simultaneous size measurement through the incorporated interferometry measurement. Compilation of these outputs reflects heterogeneity and complexity of particles and their populations.

EV prep room: This facility is equipped with standard cell culture equipment, ultracentrifuge and bench space, to allow for on-site preparation of samples as a part of the CAN workflow.

EV dedicated sorter

EV dedicated sorter: Acquisition in progress

Access to equipment and services

Please contact us to inquire about access to the equipment and services listed. (CrossLab reservations coming soon)

Contact information

For general consultation (workflow, sample isolation, etc.), NanoSight NS300, ZetaView, nCS1, and ExoView:

CAN project managers
Nadim Tawil, PhD, nadim.tawil [@] mail.mcgill.ca
Laura Montermini, M.Sc., laura.montermini [@] muhc.mcgill.ca

For Cytoflex, ImageStream, and sorting:

Immunophenotyping Platform
immunophenotyping.rimuhc [@] mcgill.ca

Leadership and oversight

Learn more about CAN steering and advisory committees

Collaborating platforms and resources

CAN is designed to be integrated into a network of technologies enabling upstream and downstream in-depth analysis of biological and engineered nanoparticles. Collaborating platforms and other resources may be accessed at the RI-MUHC and McGill University.

Collaborating platforms:


The following resources provide more information on EV research, particularly the guidelines, central databases and consortia available online.


Central Databases and Consortia:

Explore research at the RI-MUHC