Thanks to the new npSCOPE instrument, developed by an international team of researchers coordinated by LIST, the characterization of nanoparticles will become much easier.
Nanoparticles are everywhere, both around and inside us. They can be found in food, cosmetics, textiles, paints, electronic devices, etc. When these elements are voluntarily modified to give them specific desired properties, they can have potential unknown risks for human health, the environment and safety. It is therefore crucial to identify these risks for both industry and society.
To do this, it is necessary to perform an adequate physico-chemical characterization of nanoparticles. In other words, we need to know:
To address these three questions, a number of techniques are currently being used, however until now, this multi-technique approach has been undertaken on separate, expensive instruments. The npSCOPE project aims to develop one single instrument that will provide the answers to all of these questions.
This project, launched in January 2017, has been making excellent progress over the last few months, with the team, consisting of nine partners from six European countries, managing to finalize the assembly of the npSCOPE prototype instrument. The European Commission, who is funding the project under the Horizon 2020 programme, evaluated the progress of the project very positively in the review meeting held on 27 June. In the coming months, the focus will be on demonstrating the npSCOPE potential, using test cases related to nano-toxicology.