Equipment by Category
Transnational Access is provided according to four thematic categories: nanomaterial synthesis (A), labelling and processing (B), nanomaterials characterisation in situ (C), and exposure assessment (D). A summary of the facilities is given below:
The TA facilities in this category were chosen on the basis that they have the capability to produce high quality nanomaterials (unlabelled and labelled) which will be evaluated through the inter-laboratory comparison testing approaches within the QualityNano Nanomaterials Hub, and provided for TA to Users. Nanomaterials synthesis is brought to a high art by specialist synthetic groupings all of whom have had extensive contact with the biological community, and are well prepared to address the implantation of nanomaterials processing for biological applications and nanosafety assessment. The QualityNano TA facilities include infrastructure (including synchrotrons) to radiolabel nanomaterials, for optical labelling, such as with quantum dots, and uniquely, to isotope-label nanomaterials which is being pioneered by QualityNano partners as a means to distinguish between engineered and anthropogenic nanoscale materials, especially in environmental contexts.
Nanomaterials characterisation in situ and ex situ (Category C):
In situ characterization of nanomaterials is highly developed in QualityNano partner laboratories, including the characterisation of the nanoparticle ‘protein corona’ which is now believed to be the primary object for most nanomaterials in contact with living organisms. QualityNano TA partners have developed new approaches to physico-chemically characterizing nanoparticles within living organisms, using tools from proteomics, lipidomics, and various forms of spectroscopy, as well as having developed model systems for assessment of the biological impacts of nanomaterials, and approaches for characterisation of nanomaterials in food or in the environment.
Nanomaterials dose-response and exposure assessment (Category D):
Several of the TA facilities have very strong backgrounds in assessment of nanomaterials impacts, including characterisation of nanomaterials dose-response effects, and development of in vitro approaches. Several TA facilities offer access to in vivo exposure chambers for small animals (run under GLP conditions in some cases) which are unique in the world. The team also includes the only facility for quantitative biokinetics studies using radio-labelled nanomaterials. Several of the TA facilities also include novel models / technical approaches that are being applied to the development of alternative approaches for nanomaterials testing (to reduce the current reliance on animal testing strategies).