Friday, 23 March 2012

NanoSight’s webinar offers an insight to the European recommended definition of Nanomaterials

When Europe’s recommended definition of Nanomaterials was published at the end of 2011 it was viewed in many circles as the final jigsaw piece to the legislative puzzle.   However, both incidental and manufactured nanomaterials are included in this definition and this could have huge implications for the food & drink and construction industries, as well as, many companies manufacturing products such as tyres and ceramics. 

NanoSight today facilitated a webinar to brief industry leaders on the wide reaching implications of this recently announced recommended definition and Dr Denis Koltsov, a leading international expert in nanotechnology legislation provided his views on the legislative landscape.  NanoSight showcased its suite of nanoparticle characterisation methods which could provide organisations a competitive edge in addressing the measurement requirements prescribed by the European Commission.


What’s classed as a Nanomaterial in the recommended definition?    

·         A product that has more than 50% of its particle count (particles, agglomerates and aggregates) in the range of 1 – 100 nm could essentially now be classed as a nanomaterial and the definition only deals with particle external size and not its material, structure or chemistry.  

·         An additional classification of a nanomaterial is to demonstrate a specific surface per unit volume of greater than 60 m2/cm3

Koltsov points out that “the recommended definition is NOT a regulatory or binding document and does not imply danger or risk of nanomaterials.  It affects a lot more industries that the creators of the definition anticipated, it is not legally binding, but this type of definition could (and will) be used by regulators.”  The definition will be review in 2014 and could have ramifications for REACH.

The French are already putting the definition to use with a decree (# 2012-232) published on 17th February 2012 stating:

·         All manufacturers, importers and distributors of nanomaterials have to report French authorities every year

·         Minimum amount is 100g per year

Koltsov stats that Belgium and Germany are planning to follow this example, however the USA does not seek to define nanomaterials precisely.  It is also anticipated that more member states will revert to a national legal framework instead of relying on REACH.  The French ruling could also heavily impact Universities and importers and exporters of materials.    

The European Commission does not give a recommendation on the measurement technique for the characterisation of nanomaterials only that size distribution of a material should be presented as size distribution based on the number concentration. 

NanoSight offers a system that is a number-based nanoparticle counting technique which is rapid and suitable for regular analysis on most types of monodisperse and polydisperse samples.  The system is inexpensive to own and run and provides quick, accurate analysis in the sample’s natural environment.  Many systems are already in the market place.

NanoSight uses Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) which can:

·         Acquire a video of the nanoparticles motion

·         Track individual particles simultaneously

·         Apply the Stokes-Einstein equation to calculate particle size

The method, which counts particles to provide an absolute concentration measurement, is independent of mass, refractive indices and particle material with no calibration required. 

A variety of materials can be tested including, nanotubes, metal oxides, magnetic nanoparticles, pigments, cosmetics, ceramics, proteins, polymers, virus samples and foodstuffs.

While the French and the USA may disagree on a precise definition of nanomaterials it is clear that the NanoSight system will offer a dynamic platform for companies in responding to the increasing need for characterisation. 

To find out about NanoSight and to learn more about nanoparticle characterization using nanoparticle tracking analysis solutions, visit and register to receive the next issue of NanoTrail, the company’s electronic newsletter.  The webinar can be viewed from NanoSight’s archive available at 


At last week’s national Medilink UK Healthcare Business Awards 2012, NanoSight was presented with the HSBC sponsored Export Achievement award. Coming on the heels of the South West Biomedical iNet Innovation award, NanoSight’s founder and CTO, Dr Bob Carr, was presented this latest award at the Millennium Centre, Cardiff in front of the 500-strong audience. More news to follow…

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

EU Nanomaterials Regulation – Clarify the Impact on Your Business

At the end of 2011 the EU Commission published a recommended definition of Nanomaterials.  Seasoned Commission-watchers recognised this much-anticipated document as a turning point, likely to have significant legislative impact on producers of Nanomaterials in Europe and beyond.   This definition was the missing jigsaw piece that so many legislators and NGOs anticipated, to forward a robust framework for nanotechnology legislation.

Two industry reactions are observed.  Whilst all would agree that the right legislative framework will enable major investment in nanotechnology, a large industry group are doing nothing and hoping perhaps that it goes away, whilst others are thinking through potential solutions.  Having tracked the scientific consultative effort in preparation to get to this stage, NanoSight believes this definition is here to stay and will have significant impact.

On Wednesday, 21st March at 1330 and 1500 UK time, NanoSight will host a webinar to look at the implications of this definition and how as a company, with unique multi-parameter nanoparticle analysis, is able to address these freshly defined characterization challenges. The invited speaker is Dr Denis Koltsov, a leading international expert in nanotechnology legislation and control. Dr Koltsov serves on several UK governmental strategy committees. He also operates BREC Solutions, a consultancy company in the field of nanotechnology innovation. In his talk, he will examine the definition in detail and provide a thorough understanding of the document. Dr Koltsov will outline his views on the likely speed and scope of legislation.

NanoSight will present a practical draft solution to address the characterization requirements of this definition. Requiring as it does, particle counting from 1 to 100nm, a combination of Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis and Electron Microscopy is proposed. This webinar will be both informative and interactive.  You are invited to register and join in the discussions on this important issue:

To find out about NanoSight and to learn more about nanoparticle characterization using nanoparticle tracking analysis solutions, visit You may also like to register to receive the next issue of NanoTrail, the company’s electronic newsletter.