WP 1: Characterisation and tracking of ENPs during processes involved in fate and toxicity

WP 1: Characterisation and tracking of ENPs during processes involved in fate and toxicity 

WP LeaderDr Alison Crossley (UOXF.DJ)
  • Manufacture, procurement and detailed characterisation of the two versions of each ENP (CeO2 , ZnO and Ag) provided by the NanoFATE industrial partners and selected as the focus for risk characterisation, fate, and effects experiments and risk assessment. This characterisation built on manufacturers' and existing data where possible and considered carefully the forms in which ENPs would be delivered (e.g. powders or suspensions, including issues of carriers and stabilisers). (Main participants: UOXF.DJ, NT, AXME) 
  • Production of ZnO ENPs tagged with rare earth elements in very low natural concentrations (e.g.Ytterbium or Luthetium) that match as closely as possible the ZnO nanoparticles common in commercial products. This is needed to allow tracking of the ZnO ENPs by ICP-based element analysis in the experiments to measure fate and effects. (For Ce and Ag based ENPs the natural background is so low they can be tracked by their core elements, while Zn has too high natural background for this to work if not tagged). An alternative approach, although significantly more expensive, is to synthesize the ZnO nanoparticles from a stable enriched isotope, e.g. 67 Zn or 70 Zn. (Main participant: IHPP) 
  • Characterisation of the ENPs used initially in the standard exposure medias of WP3. For ZnO this was done for both tagged and untagged ZnO to check how the behaviour of tagged particles matches that of untagged particles. (Main participants: IHPP, UOXF.DJ, UGOT) 
  • Validation of element-based analysis for gross tracking of ENPs. Method development and validation for the detailed tracking and localisation of ENPs in exposure and tissues relevant in WP2, WP3 and WP4 to refine methods for detecting particle in environmental media and in cells and tissue of exposed organisms. (Main participants: IHPP, UOXF.DJ, UGOT) 
  • Identification, quantification and characterisation of ENPs in samples provided from WPs 2, 3 and 4 to provide: (1) qualitative and quantitative data on environment-ENP interactions, and (2) the association of ENPs with both matrix and organism components in different environmental systems. (Main participants: IHPP, UOXF.DJ, UGOT, NERC, VUA, CU, UAVR)

Note that the deliverables of WP1 were not public reports. However many lessons have been learnt that will aid future research at the level of characterisation. See our Advice Notes and also Newsletters for an indication of the work, and revisit the "legacy site" at the end of the project (Spring 2014) for a summary of lessons learnt.

On 6th March 2014 our Training Course includes a module on: Making your own Gold NPs and characterising them and other NPs.

Tasks1.1) Manufacture, procurement and characterisation of ENPs.

1.2) Production and testing of the tagged versions of ENPs, and characterisation of ENPs in the environmental matrices of interest.

1.3) Tracking and characterisation of ENPs in the definitive fate and ecotoxicology experiments.