Outcome of the workshop

1. Summary of main conclusions and recommendations

1.1 In order to enhance the development, efficacy, harmonization and uptake of documentary standards broadly relevant to the field of measurement and characterization for nanotechnologies, there is a pressing need for:

1.2 Whilst recognising the need for the development of standards related techniques and protocols for characterization at the nanoscale, a clear need was also expressed for good practice /guidance documents covering the suitability and limitations of measurement and characterization techniques for use with nanomaterials.

Such good practice /guidance documents should, inter alia, cover the following topics:

1.3 In the specific area of human health and toxicology, there is a need for greater dissemination, verification and validation of handling and testing protocols and related procedures by the broader community. In particular, there is a pressing need to develop protocols for: pharmacokinetics - ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion) and Toxicology screening tests; particle characterization protocols, such as MALDI (matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization) and SIMS (secondary ion mass spectrometry), that take into account the presence of biological coatings; methods to determine the stability of nanomaterials in biological matrices; and guidance documents for the preparation of suspensions of nanomaterials in various media, particularly biologically relevant fluids.

1.4 In the area of nanomaterials characterization, there is a need for clarity in the identification of measurands related to several materials properties, including those corresponding to endpoints addressed by the OECD WPMN’s Sponsorship Programme for the Testing of Manufactured Nanomaterials. In this general area there is perhaps a greater need for new measuring instruments and techniques than for new documentary standards, though the former, once developed, will need validation and verification and ultimately the preparation and delivery of standards covering the techniques and principles used. In the specific case of nanoparticles, it is not generally realized that particle size distribution is not a fundamental property of the material being studied, but a temporary state of dynamic equilibrium between dispersion and agglomeration in suspensions or aerosols. This, and numerous other differences between perception and reality, present tremendous challenges in such a high profile subject area.

2. Action items agreed by the workshop participants

2.1 Communication/information sharing

2.2 Coordination
Potential co-ordination mechanism for ISO and IEC committees


3. Evaluation of the workshop and follow-up

The workshop was successful in achieving its objectives of:

The workshop participants took the commitment of strengthening their cooperation (i.a. by implementing the action items highlighted above), with a view to accelerate the development and enhance the efficacy, harmonization and uptake of documentary standards of measurement and characterization for nanotechnologies.

1 Terminology will be freely available, along with a free access layer for search and navigation in the content. This does not preclude the possibility of developing other information layers and added value services, whose access could be restricted.

2 This proposal should be passed on to ISO TC 229 for approval.

3 This proposal should be passed on to ISO TC 229 and IEC TC 113 for approval.