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Chemistry: Giant hyperthermal effect in Mg-doped Fe3O4 - Friday, 09 February 2018 11:36
Biology: Nanodiamonds for antibacterial implants - Monday, 02 November 2015 21:41
Ecology: Nano-products risks overexaggerated - Tuesday, 24 June 2014 11:02

europe flag-1350059751945The European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) has voted to adopt a draft report that 'proposed a moratorium on the use of nanomaterials in food, based on the precautionary principle'. The report is an amended version of theEuropean Commission's (EC) January 2014 proposal for a Regulation on Novel Foods 2013/0435 (COD).

A draft report containing 93 amendments to the original EC proposal was presented to members of the ENVI Committee at a recent plenary session of the European Parliament; MEPs present at the session 'nevertheless amended the text and proposed a moratorium', and an extraordinary session was held in order to vote on an adoption of the newly-amended report. One of the other significant amendments proposed by MEPs at the Plenary was for a nanoparticle number threshold of 10% to be used, instead of the originally-described 50%, in order to 'bring it in line with EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) recommendations).

The European Parliament will next discuss this draft report at a plenary session on 2 February 2015. Furthermore the rapporteur for the draft report was given a mandate to start negotiations with the European Council of Ministers.

Follow this link to read more about the draft report by the ENVI Committee on the Novel Foods regulation, this to read the draft report by ENVI that MEPs amended at the Plenary session, and this to see the current status of the proposed novel foods legislation.


Source: adopted from NIA's original article

Eleven EU-funded nanotechnology projects have been shortlisted for the "Best Research Project Award" to be announced at the next EuroNanoForum  (ENF2013), Europe's largest Nanotechnology and Materials Conference, in Dublin.

More information at:

The aim of the award is to highlight the innovative outcomes of EU research projects and to present how nanotechnologies enable progress in every aspect of daily life: from health to environment, energy, transport, food and communication. The 11 candidates will be voted on and a winner announced at the ENF2013 on 20 June 2013. 

The competition was open to all completed EU-funded projects in the field of Nanotechnologies. There were 50 entries to the competition. The shortlisted projects were selected by representatives of the ENF 2013 International Advisory Group evaluating:

  • Scientific and technological breakthroughs achieved by the project,
  • How the project is addressing societal challenges (e.g. environment, health, food safety, climate change),
  • Applicability of project results.

More information on the 11 shortlisted projects

IP Nanoker – Structural ceramic nanocomposites for top-end functional applications
Sonodrugs – Image-controlled ultrasound-induced drug delivery
Must – Multi-level protection of materials for vehicles by smart nanocontainers
Light-Rolls – High-throughput production platform for the manufacture of light emitting components
Stonecore – Stone conservation for the refurbishment of buildings
NanoInteract – Development of a platform and toolkit for understanding interactions between nanoparticles and the living world
Flexonics – Ultra-high barrier films for r2r encapsulation of flexible electronics
Nanother – Integration of novel nanoparticle based technology for therapeutics and diagnosis of different types of cancer 
Eumet – Olefin metathesis as a practical synthetic tool
BioElectricSurface – electrically modified biomaterials surface
Femtoprint – Femtosecond laser printer for glass microsystems with nanoscale features

EuroNanoForum is Europe’s largest Nanotechnology and Materials Conference. It takes place every two years and receives funding from the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.

ENF2013 (Dublin, 18-20 June 2013) will focus on the commercialisation of nanotechnologies, exploiting its potential for new applications and taking them further from enabling technologies to end products.

Nanotechnologies research accounted for more than €900 million funding for the period 2007-2011 under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research. 
More information at:

Update: Sonodrugs; Image-Controlled Ultrasound Induced Drug Delivery was selected from the 11 finalists.

astmTwo new standards developed by ASTM International Committee E56 on Nanotechnology will assist a variety of users in aspects of nanomaterial measurement. ASTM E2834, Guide for Measurement of Particle Size Distribution of Nanomaterials in Suspension by Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA), and ASTM E2859, Guide for Size Measurement of Nanoparticles Using Atomic Force Microscopy, are both under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E56.02 on Physical and Chemical Characterization.

Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis

ASTM E2834 describes nanoparticle tracking analysis, a new measurement technique for direct and real-time visualization and analysis of nanoparticles in liquids. In NTA, particles in suspension are illuminated with a focused laser beam and light scattered from each particle is visible through magnifying optics fitted to a digital camera.

ASTM E2834 discusses the scientific basis for nanoparticle tracking analysis, as well as size limits, concentration ranges, sampling and sample preparation considerations, condition and analysis selection, data interpretation and comparison to other techniques.

Duncan Griffiths, an E56 member, says that, as a new technique, NTA has been deliberately kept simple and general to cover possible variants of the basic theory. "Many of the details of the hardware and software involved are evolving rapidly, so there may be some extension or revision of the standard in the future," says Griffiths, who is the business development manager with NanoSight USA. "In the near term, test methods for specific sample types are expected to follow from this base document."

Griffiths notes that NTA is applicable to many nanomaterials, as well as a range of biotech and pharmaceutical samples, including drug delivery and virus and protein aggregates. The standard will be used primarily by industries regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency as a means of referencing the basis of NTA. 

Nanoparticle Size Measurement

According to Vince Hackley, research chemist and project leader in the Materials Measurement Science Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, ASTM E2859 provides guidelines for sample preparation, measurement and analysis of results related to the use of atomic force microscopy, or AFM. AFM is a technique used to image, measure and manipulate matter at the nanoscale. The standard guide describes the use of height measurements in order to determine the size of nanoparticles deposited on a flat substrate. AFM measurement has been adopted extensively within the nanotechnology community as an important tool for visualizing and quantifying structures on the nanoscale.

ASTM E2859 provides practical and metrological guidance for applying AFM to measure the size of substrate-supported nanoparticles, including:

-Procedures for dispersing nanoparticles on various surfaces in order for the particles to be suitable for imaging and height measurement via intermittent contact mode AFM;
-General AFM calibration and operation guidelines; and
-Procedures for data analysis and reporting.

"We believe this to be the first AFM-based international standard for particle size measurement on the nanoscale," says Hackley, an ASTM E56 member. "While the standard is a guide, it could potentially be converted into a test method in the future. E56.02 is interested in developing standards for nanoparticle characterization that have practical and immediate impact for the nanotechnology community."

E56 invites all interested parties from industry, regulatory agencies and others with an interest in the safe commercialization of nanotechnology to participate in the development of its standards. 

To purchase ASTM standards, visit and search by the standard designation, or contact ASTM Customer Relations (phone: 877-909-ASTM;  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  ). ASTM International welcomes participation in the development of its standards. For more information on becoming an ASTM member, visit


About ASTM International
ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance and transparency. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions.

For more news in this sector, visit or follow us on Twitter @ASTMQuality.

ASTM Committee E56 Next Meeting: May 20-21, 2013, May Committee Week, Indianapolis, Ind.

For more information, please click here

Technical Contact: 
(E2834) Duncan Griffiths
NanoSight USA
Costa Mesa, Calif.
Phone: 714-747-9955
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(E2859)Vincent A. Hackley, Ph.D.
National Institute of Science and Technology
Gaithersburg, Md.
Phone: 301-975-5790
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ASTM Staff Contact: 
Kathleen McClung
Phone: 610-832-9717
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Barbara Schindler
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EFSA creating Inventory of Nano-based Food and Feed Activities

nanomaterials food and feedThe European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is working on an Inventory of food additives/food contact materials/feed additives applications in the area of nanotechnologies. This was revealed through an internal mandate, M-2012-0216. A sum of EUR 100,000 has been allocated to the organisation's Feed Unit for the task so that they may deliver 'one external scientific report' by September 2013.

An inventory was recently considered 'a priority' by EFSA, and as such 'more up-to-date information on the state of the art would be required'. Therefore the Feed Unit has been asked to prepare a background document alongside the inventory of nanotechnology applications in the food and feed areas. Furthermore 'the current European Commission (EC) recommendation for a definition on nanomaterial must be used for the development of the document'.

No general nanomaterials legislation, EU concludes

europe flag-1350059751945A relief to a variety of companies regardless of their involvement in nanomaterials manufacturing or use: first week of October 2012, the European Commission came to a conclusion that no new legislation dedicated to nanotechnology is needed. The varying nature of nanomaterials does not allow putting all of them in one basket. Case-by-case studies are needed to assess risks associated with the use or production of each specific type of nanoparticles. The communication, which responds to a 2009 demand by the European Parliament, was jointly presented by European Commissioners Antonio Tajani, Janez Potočnik, John Dalli, and Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.