LGC Standards has announced its range of reference nanomaterials has been enhanced by the addition of the world’s first certified reference material based on industry-sourced nanoparticles.
Developed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, the new reference material will help ensure the comparability of nanoparticle measurements worldwide, thereby facilitating trade and ensuring compliance with legislation.
While nanotechnology offers significant economic and social benefits, the increasing use of nanomaterials in consumer products, food, agriculture and medicinal applications has raised concerns about their safety. High-quality measurements are the basis for reliable safety assessments, process improvement, quality control and the development of new applications of nanotechnology.
The new reference material (ERM-FD100) consists of silica nanoparticles of a nominal diameter of 20 nm. Silica nanoparticles are amongst the most widely used nanoparticles and applications include polish whiteners and dispersants. This is the first certified benchmark incorporating industrial nanoparticles, and provides the basis for reliable hazard assessments by providing a check that nanomaterials conform to the internationally accepted definition, as specified by the International Standardisation Organisation.
ERM-FD100 will enable producers of nanoparticles to monitor production quality over time against a stable reference point and to assess the impact of process improvements. Furthermore, the certified reference material will contribute to establish market confidence that nanomaterial products meet the technical specifications of their customers.
Jane Firth, Sector Manager at LGC Standards said: "LGC Standards provides laboratory quality management solutions, serving customers across a wide range of industries, from pharmaceutical to food and from life science to the materials industries. We are seeing increasing interest from all these sectors for the opportunities nanoscience offers and with that, a demand for relevant reference materials. LGC Standards offers a range of reference nanomaterials to provide researchers with characterised materials for use in their testing models - this material provides a complementary reference point for nanoparticle measurement.”
The release of this certified reference material concludes several years of product development, in which the homogeneity and stability of the material were assessed. Particle size was measured in collaboration with 33 laboratories from 11 different countries in Europe, America and Asia, bringing together expert knowledge from across the globe. The material was assessed by different measurement techniques and allows producers of nanoparticles (independent from their final use) to test the size of their particles and check batch-to-batch variability to ensure the particles meet the intended production specifications.