June 21, 2012

In relation with the initiative developed by NanoDevice, NanoFutures, ETPIS, NanoSafety Cluster and with the support of CEN TC 352 Nanotechnologies, you are invited to take part in this survey and provide information about inputs of your project for standardization by June 30, 2012. The objective of the survey is to identify projects able to contribute on similar topics and then build clusters for further standardization activities.








3D model of a en:C60 molecule, also called a "Buckyball"


Project Description
Start date: April 01, 2009
End date: March 31, 2013
Total project value: 12.3M€
Project coordinator: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Kai Savolainen
Total number of partners: 26
Contact person (name/email): Salvi, Olivier (nanodeviceeu-vri.eu)
Project webpage R-Tech/EU-VRi: http://nanodevice.eu-vri.eu/
Official webpage (coordinator): http://www.nano-device.eu/

NANODEVICE is a research project funded by the European Commission in the context of the 7th Framework Program.

The motive of the NANODEVICE project is based on the lack of knowledge of the health effects of the widely used engineered nanoparticles (ENP) and on the shortage of field-worthy, cost-effective ways - especially in real time - for reliable assessment of exposure levels to ENP in workplace air
NANODEVICE will provide new information on the physico-chemical properties of engineered nanoparticles (ENP) and information about their toxicology. Also a novel measuring device will be developed to assess the exposure to ENP´s from workplace air. The purpose of the project is also to promote the safe use of ENP through guidance, standards and education, implementing of safety objectives in ENP production and handling, and promotion of safety related collaborations through an international nanosafety forum.

Survey: How relevant is your project to provide inputs to standardization in the field of nanomaterials ?

If you are a member of the consortium of the NANODEVICE project, you are invited to take part in this survey and provide information about the impact of your results on standardization.

The objective of the survey is to identify project results able to contribute on similar topics and then build clusters for further standardization activities.

The survey is organized in two parts. First, you are invited to define the relevance of your results for a series of topics where standardization is expected (these topics are derived from the Mandate M/461). Then, in a more informative way, you are invited to describe the standardization activities that you plan or have already initiated.

The results of the survey will be used to develop the PUDF (plan for use and dissemination of the foreground). Therefore, you are kindly asked to provide your inputs by March 15, 2013.




Novel Concepts, Methods, and Technologies for the Production of Portable,
Easy-to-Use Devices for the Measurement and
Analysis of Airborne Engineered Nanoparticles in Workplace Air

Engineered nanoparticles (ENP), defined as having at least one dimension ≤100 nm, have attracted a great deal of interest during recent years, due to their many technologically interesting properties. The unique properties of ENP and their applications have given birth to immense technological and economic expectations for industries using ENP. However, some of these properties have given rise to concern that they may be harmful to humans. This has prompted scientists, regulators, and the industrial representatives to investigate the features of ENP in order to be sure of their safe use in nanotechnologies (NT), i.e. technologies utilizing ENP. The European Commission has also explored in-depth the characteristics of ENP and issued a document on ways to assure the safety of ENP.

Overall objectives of the research: New and innovative concepts and methods for measuring and characterizing airborne ENP with novel portable and easy-to-use device(s) for workplaces; specific objectives of the research project:

Engineered nanoparticles

ENP cannot be considered as a uniform group of substances. They are produced from many substances, in many forms and sizes and with a variety of surface coatings. The health assessment of such diverse materials requires validated analytical methods both for their characterization in bulk samples, and for the detection and measurement of those ENP in workplace air since there they have the greatest potential for human exposure. ENP concentrations and size distributions by number, surface area, and mass, ENP composition and reactivity, ENP shape crystallinity, porosity, solubility, and ENP bio-persistence constitute the parameter set which must be assessed first in order to evaluate the exposure to, and the toxicological effects of these new materials.

ENP safety

Several types of ENP including titanium dioxide and carbon nanotubes (CNT) are known to produce pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis in animals. Oberdörster et al. have shown that manganese oxide ENP can reach the olfactory bulb in the forebrain of experimental animals via transport along the olfactory nerves which innervale the epithelium in the nose. In addition, recent observations indicate that CNT may gain access also to other organs via the airways, e.g. to induce inflammation of the vasculature. Unfortunately, there are no inexpensive, field-worthy ways to reliably assess the levels of biologically relevant exposure to ENP in workplaces.

One major uncertainty in the safety assessment of ENP arises from the lack of knowledge of their physico-chemical properties and behaviour in the airborne state. Nano-sized titanium dioxide particles form agglomerates, and CNT create bundles and ropes. The tendency of airborne particles to agglomerate is of special importance for ENP because they may very rapidly change their specific size-related properties or become attached to a background aerosol. Separation and identification of ENP against the ubiquitous background aerosol originating from different sources is another special and difficult challenge facing ENP monitoring in the workplace.

The thorough characterisation of airborne ENP is complicated by: the dynamic behaviour of ENP in workplace air, the large parameter set required for their complete characterization, the range of ENP materials already in use, and a the multitude of biological responses. At present, there is no appropriate set of devices which could be used for monitoring, measuring and characterizing ENP in workplace environments.

Measurement of ENPs

Measurement and monitoring of ENP which are present in the air in workers’ breathing zones in this proposal means capturing all relevant information about the amount (number, surface area or mass concentration) and size distribution, as well as shape, composition and chemical reactivity of airborne ENP in a given size class or a broad size range. Selection of the most relevant metric(s) for health-related sampling of ENP is an important component in the development of the concepts, methods and technology for ENP monitoring at workplaces. For this purpose, simultaneous toxicological characterization of ENP will also be carried out because this information is needed for the assessment of the many parameters which can be measured. In addition, there is a need to characterize the ENP emitted from processes and to obtain data on true exposure levels of ENP in workplaces in order to define the performance requirements of the exposure assessment means.


The real challenge ahead for ENP monitoring and health risk assessment is to:

  • redesign “ENP-capable” instruments already in laboratory use into portable and affordable devices, 
  • to expand the sensing technology available for ENP detection by adopting new options with realistic potential for real-time measurement and compact design;
  • and to extend the metrics into new areas such as CNT shape identification and catalytic properties.

Each of the above avenues addresses an important demand:

  • making current technology more compact, more affordable and more versatile will provide imminent short-term solutions required by toxicologists and the inhalation exposure community;
  • new sensing technology will have a mid-term effect by providing sophisticated measurement options for very small particles which can be adapted to the needs of aerosol monitoring technology. Finally,
  • the development of methods and pre-prototype devices capable of capturing entirely new metrics will provide new tools to characterize airborne ENP. In each category, the focus is on real-time, on-line methods and devices.

For more information visit the NANODEVICE consortium website (http://www.nano-device.eu/

Timeline and work progress

NANODEVICE project started on the 1st of April, 2009 and will last 48 months. The work executed within the project is divided into six subprojects with together 21 work packages, which include all technical developments from characterisation, specification to demonstration as well as administrative tasks. The picture below shows the different subprojects and workpackages and their interdependencies.

The related subprojects and workpackages are as follows:

SP1: Characterizatiom
With only one work package (WP1). It includes synthesis and characterization of produced engineered nanoparticles (ENP) and those purchased from commercial sources, and feeds information to all other SPs and WPs.

SP2: Physical, chemical and toxigological properties
Notably physical, chemical and toxicological properties provides justification for the need to develop the nanomonitors (SP4) through providing physico-chemical characteristics (SP1/WP1), through morphological characterization (SP2/WP2), through non-imaging techniques (SP2/WP3); and through toxicological characterization (SP2/WP4). This SP uses data from SP1 and feeds information to all the rest of the SPs and WPs of the project.

SP3: Production, use and exposure
Contains WP5 and provides information on production, use and exposure to ENP and feeds this information to the SP4, SP5 and SP6. The crucial goal of this SP/WP is to provide information on the processes in ENP production and applications of NT and to provide information on realistic exposure levels in the occupational setting as this information is crucial for optimizing the functional characteristics of the preprototype nanomonitors, their testing and dissemination and exploitation. In essence this SP/WP feeds also to the earlier SPs/WPs providing information on the true exposure context.

SP4: Device development
Contains seven WPs (WP6-WP12) aiming at developing of portable easy-to-use different preprototype devices for detecting and assessing concentrations of ENP in aerosols in real life occupational settings thus using data from earlier SPs/WPs and feeding to the later ones.

SP5: Calibration and testing
Consists of WP13 and WP14 dealing with testing and calibration in the laboratory and with testing in the field being the ultimate test for the functionality and field worthiness of the preprototypes developed within the project. So this SP is essential in evaluating the quality of the development of the preprototype devices, and it feeds information back to the SP4 and to SP6, i.e. the dissemination and exploitation WPs 15-21.

SP6: Adaptation, validation and dissemination
Uses the information from all the other SPs/WPs and makes most of the data generated in the earlier stages of the project to disseminate the generated novel information and to assure maximum impact in the field, i.e. to assure that different target group can utilize the devices in improving safety at workplaces where ENP or NT are used. The other goal is to provide support to the regulators and have a positive impact on industry, especially SME's. Producing a nanosafety handbook, establishing an Annual Forum for Nanosafety and organizing an International Congress on Safety of Engineered Nanoparticles and Nanotechnologies all aim to effectively disseminate the valuable information on the importance of safety of ENP and safe NT. The mobility program within the project aims at maximizing networking and collaborating within the project and to increase its effectiveness and impact.