A collaborative project to improve comparability in how nanomaterials are characterized
IN THE NEWS
Guidelines for Nanomaterial Characterization Needed!
Nature Nanotechnology1 describes concern at the lack of guidelines for nanomaterial characterization. The current body of literature is fraught with inconsistent reporting, which affects the quality and comparability of the study results.
The UK Department for Food and Rural Affairs Hazardous Substances Advisory Committee also cites the need for consistent and higher standards for nanoparticle characterization.2
These articles support the continuing critical need for the work that the NanoCharacter partnership aims to address in a framework and roadmap implementing comparable reporting of nanomaterial data.
1. Join the dialogue [Editorial]. Nat Nanotechnol. 2012;7(9):545.
2. UK Department for Food and Rural Affairs Hazardous Substances Advisory Committee. Nanomaterials: Physico-chemical properties and dose considerations required before assessment of biological behavior. Published November 2012.
Create a framework and roadmap to implement reporting of comparable nanomaterial characterization data across studies.
NanoCharacter is a public private partnership to create a framework and roadmap to implement clear reporting of nanomaterial data across studies. With issues of financing, standards, instrumentation, academic and regulatory acceptance sorted out through the roadmap, NanoCharacter will provide the community with the vision needed to create knowledge across studies.
Focusing on standardization of data reporting for nanomaterials relevant to human and environmental risk assessment, NanoCharacter starts from the observation there are multiple and complex impediments to comparable reporting of nanomaterial characterization. Impediments include a lack of coordination between funding for measurement in studies, instrumentation development, standard methods development, regulatory acceptance, relationship to biologic effect, and priority setting.
NanoCharacter will develop a framework and roadmap to identify what needs to be done to address these impediments and improve the quality and utility of nanomaterial impact research. The project will aim to achieve broad acceptance and use of principles of reporting data for nanomaterials relevant to human and environmental risk assessment so that studies using the principles can be better understood, reproduced, and the data combined with other studies of similar nanomaterials.
The project will develop a trusted dialogue about how to get better reporting done, consistent reporting, and thereby strengthen the basis for risk evaluations for responsible commercialization of engineered nanomaterials.
From the January 2013 workshop and the next 6 months
- Framework document to circulate to participants and through this project website
- Publish framework (high profile publication)
- Initiation of a conceptual roadmap resource as a reference guide to progress. When fully implemented, this will be an updatable, living document to guide progress toward implementation.
If the project is successful in identifying something feasible to accomplish, then we will seek to form a Steering Committee to
- Develop the fully implemented roadmap resource
- Do outreach
- Recruitment to / endorsement of the roadmap
- Awareness raising
- Monitor progress
- Yearly workshop on progress and adjustment and initiating new focal areas for roadmaps
- Reports to stakeholders on progress
- Publication on current need (do we still need to exist), progress, and planning