cnt-handling-smallThis week’s issue of C&E News has a great article on the MINChar initiative by Britt Erickson.

You can access the article here

(Note: the article is from Volume 86, Number 50, pp. 25-26 (Dec 15 2008).  C&E News is a publication of the American Chemical Society.  This link is provided with the permission of ACS, and does not infer any rights to the article.  For example, the article may not be linked to or otherwise distributed without express permission from ACS)

Just as a taster, two quotes from the article:

Clayton Teague, director of the National nanotechnology Coordination Office:

“There is a great need for improved characterization of the nanomaterials used in toxicity studies. Everyone recognizes that the materials used in many of the earlier studies were not adequately characterized, and some of the conclusions should not have been drawn,” says E. Clayton Teague, director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, which coordinates federal nanotechnology R&D activities.

Kristen Kulinowski, director of ICON:

Kristen M. Kulinowski, director of the International Council on Nanotechnology at Rice University, agrees. “All of these allied efforts, each doing something a little bit different, will someday advance the quality of nanotechnology-risk-relevant research and help decision-making at the policy level,” she says.

Welcome to the Minimum Information for Nanomaterial Characterization Initiative.

This is a community initiative to improve the level of materials characterization in nanotoxicology studies.  It aims to complement other activities by encouraging the adoption of a minimum set of physical and chemical material characterization parameters in nanotoxicology studies.

Development of an organized approach to documenting critical characterization parameters is also seen as being of benefit to related activities such as nano-manufacturing and materials science.

The recommended parameters, developed at a workshop held in Washington DC between Oct 28-29 2008, can be found here.

These are designed to complement recommendations from other groups that include ISO and OECD.  And as they are a minimum set of parameters, it is anticipated that they will at some point be superseded.

But in the meantime, it is hoped that their widespread adoption and use within the nanotoxicology community will encourage a culture of more robust physical and chemical nanomaterial characterization, that enables better research interpretation and comparison.

As this is a community initiative, it stands or falls by the buy-in it receives from within the nanotechnology community.  You can become associated with the initiative by signing up on the Join The Community page.

Thank you.

Lead organizers:

Darrell Boverhof, The Dow Chemical Company
Shaun Clancy, Evonik Industries
Vicki Colvin, ICON
Ray David, BASF Corporation
Mark Hoover, NIOSH
Steve Klaine, Clemson University
Andrew Maynard, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Nigel Walker, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
David Warheit, DuPont

Workshop Summary

A workshop was held at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC between Oct 28 – 29 2008, with two aims:

  • To develop minimal material characterization recommendations for nano-toxicology studies; and
  • To develop a plan of action for encouraging adoption of these recommendations by researchers, research managers and research publishers.

This is a draft summary of workshop findings: (more…)