The new standard work is intended to bring to an end to the confusing mishmash of jargon which currently prevails in the nanoresearch field. This, at any rate, is Harald Krug's assessment of the situation. Krug is a member of the Empa Board of Directors and a nanoparticle specialist. In the past few years the number of publications on nanotoxicology has increased dramatically, from 150 scientific papers in 2004 to 1800 last year. And yet Krug has determined that, in describing the material being studied, every author defines things in their own way. "To date only the names of the substances being investigated are reported, such as zinc oxide," Krug criticizes. "But in what form do the nanoparticles occur? Are they spheres? Cylinders? Or ultrafine needles? Does the material contained traces of catalysts in addition to zinc oxide? Has it been given a coating to stabilize its surface?" In many publications all these questions and more remain unanswered, which means that the results of the research work are not comparable with other studies and therefore of no value.
Exact regulations with an update method
The new fundamental reference work, named the Quality Handbook and subtitled Standard Procedures for Nanoparticle Testing, is intended to provide a common scientific basis for European research projects in the nanomaterials field. The document was put together by the Nanommune consortium, a group of European and US research institutes, and financed by the European commission under the aegis of the 7th Framework Program. As editor of the handbook, Harald Krug was responsible for drawing the results of all his colleagues' work together.
The handbook contains over 80 so-called SOP's (S
|Contact: Professor Dr. Harald Krug|
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA)