Perspectives

Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, Volume 13, Issue 7, pp 2675-2687

Interlaboratory comparison of size and surface charge measurements on nanoparticles prior to biological impact assessment

  • G. RoebbenAffiliated withInstitute for Reference Materials and Measurements, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission Email author 
  • , S. Ramirez-GarciaAffiliated withCentre for BioNano Interactions, University College Dublin
  • , V. A. HackleyAffiliated withMaterial Measurement Laboratory, National Institute of Standards & Technology
  • , M. RoessleinAffiliated withEMPA
  • , F. KlaessigAffiliated withPennsylvania Bio Nano Systems LLC
  • , V. KestensAffiliated withInstitute for Reference Materials and Measurements, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission
  • , I. LynchAffiliated withCentre for BioNano Interactions, University College Dublin
  • , C. M. GarnerAffiliated withGarner Nanotechnology Solutions
  • , A. RawleAffiliated withMalvern Instruments Inc
    • , A. ElderAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester
    • , V. L. ColvinAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, Rice University
    • , W. KreylingAffiliated withInstitute for Reference Materials and Measurements, Joint Research Centre of the European CommissionHelmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, Institute of Lung Biology and Disease
    • , H. F. KrugAffiliated withEMPA
    • , Z. A. LewickaAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, Rice University
    • , S. McNeilAffiliated withInstitute for Reference Materials and Measurements, Joint Research Centre of the European CommissionNanotechnology Characterization Laboratory, Advanced Technology Program, SAIC-Frederick, Inc
    • , A. NelAffiliated withInstitute for Reference Materials and Measurements, Joint Research Centre of the European CommissionDivision of Nano Medicine, Department of Medicine at UCLA
    • , A. PatriAffiliated withInstitute for Reference Materials and Measurements, Joint Research Centre of the European CommissionNanotechnology Characterization Laboratory, Advanced Technology Program, SAIC-Frederick, Inc
    • , P. WickAffiliated withEMPA
    • , M. WiesnerAffiliated withInstitute for Reference Materials and Measurements, Joint Research Centre of the European CommissionDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University
    • , T. XiaAffiliated withInstitute for Reference Materials and Measurements, Joint Research Centre of the European CommissionDivision of Nano Medicine, Department of Medicine at UCLA
    • , G. OberdörsterAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester
    • , K. A. DawsonAffiliated withCentre for BioNano Interactions, University College Dublin

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Abstract

The International Alliance for NanoEHS Harmonization (IANH) organises interlaboratory comparisons of methods used to study the potential biological impacts of nanomaterials. The aim of IANH is to identify and reduce or remove sources of variability and irreproducibility in existing protocols. Here, we present results of the first IANH round robin studies into methods to assess the size and surface charge of suspended nanoparticles. The test materials used (suspensions of gold, silica, polystyrene, and ceria nanoparticles, with [primary] particles sizes between 10 nm and 80 nm) were first analysed in repeatability conditions to assess the possible contribution of between-sample heterogeneity to the between-laboratory variability. Reproducibility of the selected methods was investigated in an interlaboratory comparison between ten different laboratories in the USA and Europe. Robust statistical analysis was used to evaluate within- and between-laboratory variability. It is shown that, if detailed shipping, measurement, and reporting protocols are followed, measurement of the hydrodynamic particle diameter of nanoparticles in predispersed monomodal suspensions using the dynamic light scattering method is reproducible. On the other hand, measurements of more polydisperse suspensions of nanoparticle aggregates or agglomerates were not reproducible between laboratories. Ultrasonication, which is commonly used to prepare dispersions before cell exposures, was observed to further increase variability. The variability of the zeta potential values, which were also measured, indicates the need to define better surface charge test protocols and to identify sources of variability.

Keywords

Nanoparticle Particle surface charge Interlaboratory comparison Reproducibility Polydispersity Toxicology Health and safety implications