The project ‘Chemical and Optical Characterisation of Nanomaterials of Biological Systems’ (NanoChOp) is funded by the European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP) – a metrology-focused European Joint Programme implemented by the European Association of National Metrology Institutes (EURAMET).  The EMRP supports the collaboration of European metrology institutes, industrial organisations and academia through Joint Research Projects (JRPs) and is jointly funded by the EMRP participating countries within EURAMET and the European Union.

The overall goal of the EMRP is to accelerate innovation and competitiveness in Europe whilst continuing to provide essential support to underpin the quality of our lives. The EMRP promotes collaboration with industrial and academic organisations and the transfer of knowledge to the stakeholder community, thereby reducing duplication and increasing the impact of European research.

NanoChOp – Addressing the challenges

As more and more manufactured goods incorporate nanotechnologies there is an increased risk of these materials interacting with biological systems either through accidental exposure or through intended biotechnology applications.

Characterising the physical, chemical and optical properties of nanomaterials in biological systems is a major challenge due to the complexity of the matrices in which the materials are embedded and the heterogeneity of physical properties.

The National Measurement Institutes that reside throughout the world produce and distribute high level measurement standards and measurement procedures, and provide metrological traceability to testing laboratories via their analytical and calibration facilities.

Using such capability, this research project aims to address the following challenges:
Challenge 1 – The development of techniques which can be used to measure the physico-chemical properties of nanoparticles (size, surface charge, agglomeration elemental composition) in biological matrices.
Challenge 2 – The development of traceable methods and standards which can be used to measure optical properties of fluorescent nanoparticles.
Challenge 3 – The development of reliable labelling methods to allow nanoparticle to be tracked in biological systems.

Find out more about NanoChOp.