Theme 1 – Materials

The materials theme comprised two workpackages – WP3 and WP4. WP3 aimed to provide the project's set of representative engineered nanomaterials and WP4 concerned development of methods for the characterisation of engineered nanomaterials, both in isolation and biological/environmental media. These representative materials were made available to other MARINA themes, and other pan-European projects of relevance. Professor Terry Wilkins, University of Leeds, UK, acts as the materials theme leader in MARINA.

Reference Materials (WP3)

(WP Leader: Dr Juan Riego-Sintes, Joint Research Centre, Italy). WP3 provided high quality and highly relevant Representative Nanomaterials (RNM) for measurement throughout the project.

  • WP3 implemented the selection, provision, characterisation and distribution of the MARINA RNM. It also developed guidance on harmonised sample preparation protocols and created and integrated nanomaterials-specific datasets in reports.
  • The 14 MARINA principal nanomaterials (TiO2:NM-101, 103, 104, 105; SiO2: NM-200, 203; ZnO: NM-110, 111, 112; MWCNT: NM-400, 401, 403; nano-Ag: NM-300K) and 5 additional ones (other SiO2; NM-100, 102; CeO2 NM-211, 212; nanoclay NM-600) overlap with the OECD WPMN materials set. The RNM were extensively characterized, including: Agglomeration/ Aggregation; Water Solubility/ Dispersibility; Crystalline phase; Crystallite size; Representative Electron Microscopy; Particle size distribution; Specific surface area; Zeta potential; Surface chemistry; Photocatalytic activity; Redox potential; Radical formation potential; Elemental analysis and Storage stability over time and at different temperatures.
  • Moreover the materials have been extensively tested in vitro and in vivo for (eco)toxicological endpoints within the other MARINA WPs.
  • JRC Reports have been published for ZnO, CeO2, SiO2, TiO2, MWCNTs.
  • All MARINA data and results are stored in the database JRC NANOhub
  • Papers on dispersion protocols were published

MARINA Reference Dossiers (PDF, 5.5 MB)

Reference Methods for the Characterisation of ENM (WP4)

(WP Leader: Dr Ratna Tantra, National Physical Laboratory, UK). WP4 was focused on establising a common platform for development of test methods and exploring beyond state of the art, to ultimately support the scientific infrastructure for risk management of nanomaterials.

  • WP 4 took the preliminary step in highlighting the importance of nanometrology, which is linked to the concepts of quality control or conformity assessement.
  • A major objective was to extend the range of tools available to researchers. State of the art methods were developed and evaluated, with the aim to make non-invasive measurements and when under challenging measurement conditions e.g. when particles are in in biological/environmental media.

WP4 highlights include:

  • Successfully demonstrate the use of Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to evaluate variability of differenet dispersion protocols
  • Evaluated Nuclear Magnetic Resonance instrument to measure surface area for particles in liquid, when compared to BET
  • Developed less invasive methods for the measurement of number concentration in simple and complex media, through Atomic Force (AFM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
  • Investigated methods to directly image liquid dispersions in electron microscopy
  • Proposal put forward to VAMAS TWA2, to conduct an inter-laboratory for quantitative measurement of particle size and shape using nanoscale microscopies
  • Peer review publications and book chapters (Book: Nanomaterial Characterisation: an Introduction” Ed. Ratna Tantra, Wiley, 2015)
  • The need to recognise the importance of this science area, has recently led to development of the a new nanometrology cluster within Europe

MARINA Good Practice Guide (PDF, 0.8 MB)