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The JRC Nanomaterials Repository: worldwide supplier of benchmarking nanomaterials

The JRC Nanomaterials Repository: worldwide supplier of benchmarking nanomaterials
Nov 11 2016

JRC hosts a Nanomaterials Repository providing benchmark materials used worldwide by (regulatory) scientists for development of standardised tests for safety assessment of nanomaterials.

Nanotechnology underpins developments in many sectors. However, the complex interaction of nanomaterials (NM) with living organisms and the environment makes environmental and health safety (EHS) assessment a challenge. International test guidelines and standards for testing NMs are thus crucial to promote sustainable technological development.

The JRC Repository hosts a set of industrially manufactured nanomaterials representative of a range of NM available on the world market. First developed to be used in the OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials' Testing Programme, they have now also been used in many EU funded research projects, several non-EU initiatives, industry and testing laboratories for addressing regulatory questions.

The JRC Nanomaterials Repository operates a semi-automated and state-of-the-art subsampling facility, which offers high flexibility and precision in the preparation of (customized) NM vials from a single large batch into traceable final sample vials, while guaranteeing the safety of the operators and environmental protection. The vials are then distributed worldwide for research (and eventually regulatory) purposes. So far ca. 8000 vials have been distributed to ca. 100 partners worldwide.

The availability of subsamples of NMs from a single batch facilitates the comparability of results obtained in different laboratories and across research projects. The JRC Nanomaterials Repository creates a common source of test material for all stakeholders and fosters harmonisation in nanomaterials EHS assessment and ultimately supports e.g. the further development of the harmonised OECD test guidelines.

Schematic representation of the subsampling operations in the JRC Nanomaterials Repository
Schematic representation of the subsampling operations in the JRC Nanomaterials Repository

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Read more in Sara Totaro et al.: "The JRC Nanomaterials Repository: a unique facility providing representative test materials for nanoEHS research" Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology  81 (2016) 334-340, doi:10.1o16/j.yrtph.2016.08.008