Something that it would be good to see this website used for is an exchange between instrument manufacturers and users – both to help people realize what is available (together with the abilities and limitations of devices), and to help manufacturers get a better handle on what researchers etc. are looking for.

Bob Carr from NanoSight has just posted a comment on their product for sizing nanoparticles in liquid suspensions – it would be great if other manufacturers felt free to share information, and users to share experiences.

I would add that Bob was reticent to post anything for fear of it sounding too much like a commercial – and only did so after asking whether I thought it was appropriate. Speaking to several people, it seemed that the information that could be gained from an informal dialogue with instrument manufacturers would most likely far outweigh any fears of inappropriate advertising. That said, it seems that some guidelines might be helpful for such a dialogue. These are my suggestions for guidelines – they are in no way binding, and are open to being modified, but hopefully will underpin useful exchange of information:

  1. Instrument manufacturers should feel free to post information on products and techniques that are relevant to nanomaterial characterization in toxicology studies, as long as the information is accurate, applicable, and useful to readers. Blatant advertising should be avoided.
  2. Manufacturers posting information should be prepared to field questions about their products and how to use them to obtain good data.
  3. Instrument users (and potential users) should be free to question manufacturers on their instruments and their use. However, unfounded and unhelpful criticism of instruments/manufacturers/suppliers is strongly discouraged.

If there’s enough interest in exchanging information here, I’ll look at setting up a separate page on this website for the dialogue.