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July 2006 Symposium on Nanotechnology and the Environment: Session 3: Detection and Characterization of Nanomaterials in the Environment

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July 12, 2:00-3:00 PM

An Overview on Nanotechnology Detection and Analysis Methods

Mr. John Scalera, US EPA Office of Environmental Information, Washington DC

Presentation Slides (PDF) (19pp, 548KB)
Highlights, Question and Answer Session


The challenge in detecting nanomaterials in the environment is compounded not only by the extremely small size of the particles and their potential sequestration and agglomeration, but also by their unique physical and chemical characteristics. Unlike particles larger in size, nanoparticles can be subject to quantum effects that significantly impact their physical-chemical properties resulting in challenges when it comes to sample characterization. An overview will be presented of some of the available analytical techniques used for the detection and characterization of nanoparticles in environmental including particle size analysis, particle fraction concentration counts, surface area analysis, morphology and particle chemical composition analysis.

Preclinical Characterization of Nanomaterials

Dr. Anil K. Patri, National Cancer Institute at Frederick, Frederick, Maryland

Presentation Slides (PDF) (13pp, 972KB)
Highlights, Question and Answer Session


Engineered nanomaterial offers great potential to radically change the way we diagnose, treat, and prevent cancer. Their unique properties such as modifiable size and tunable surface functionality facilitate targeted delivery of embedded therapeutic and imaging agents to a disease site with unprecedented specificity. This approach minimizes dosage, which reduces toxicity and side effects, while increasing the therapeutic benefit. There is an urgent need to quickly transition these novel technologies to benefit those who are suffering from insidious diseases such as cancer, while being cautious of the impact of their production and their use on the environment and health.

The complex nature of nanomaterial poses challenges in their reproducible synthesis, scale-up, isolation, purification, characterization, along with their in vitro and in vivo safety and efficacy assessment. To address these challenges, developing methodologies and standards requires a multi-disciplinary group of scientists, expertise, team effort, appropriate instrumentation, and resources.

This presentation will focus on the mission and approach of the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Frederick, in a formal scientific interaction and collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to perform pre-clinical characterization and assessment of nanomaterial intended for cancer therapeutics and diagnostics. The research outcome will help the community-at-large. Several tools and techniques to evaluate the material properties will be discussed.

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