Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Nano-materials, Toxicology

Publication Details

Nanotoxicology, 5, 1-11 (2011)


Background: This paper presents the outcomes from a workshop of the European Network on the Health and Environmental Impact of Nanomaterials (NanoImpactNet) held in June 2008. During this workshop 45 experts in the field of safety assessment of engineered nanomaterials from academia, non-profit organizations and industry addressed a list of essential metrics of engineered nanomaterials that need to be characterized as a minimum.

Results: The group discussed the need to systematically study sets of engineered nanomaterials to generate a dataset that allows for the establishment of dose-response data related to specific metrics of engineered nanomaterials. Concomitantly the availability of analytical methods to determine the physicochemical characteristics was discussed. Given the measurement challenges specific for engineered nanomaterials the issue of harmonizing protocols was raised.

Conclusion: The group concluded that international cooperation and worldwide standardization of terminology, reference materials and protocols are needed to make progress in establishing lists of essential metrics. The need for high quality data necessitates the development of harmonized study approaches and adequate reporting of data. Priority metrics can only be based on well-characterized dose-response relations (as regards biological interactions and physiochemical characteristics) of engineered nanomaterials. This requires the systematic study of the biokinetics and biointeractions of nanomaterials at both organism and (sub)cellular levels. Additionally, much effort needs to be put into the standardization and validation of analytical methods to determine these metrics. Especially for the characterization of engineered nanomaterials in a complex matrix much work needs to be done.