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State-of-the art methods for the characterization of Nanomaterials in complex matrices: frontiers and challenges

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Nanomaterials are progressively changing our lives since they are currently used in a large variety of consumer products, technological applications and environmental remediation technologies. There has been a steep increase in the number of applications in the last decade and a faster increase is foreseen. ...

Nanomaterials are progressively changing our lives since they are currently used in a large variety of consumer products, technological applications and environmental remediation technologies. There has been a steep increase in the number of applications in the last decade and a faster increase is foreseen. The extensive use of nanomaterials in commercial products requires the development of suitable analytical tools to identify, characterize, and ultimately monitor stability, toxicity and fate of nanomaterials once they are part of a complex matrix such as food, environmental matrices or a biological media.

There is a current lack of validated methods for the characterization of size, particle size distribution, shape, aggregation state, surface properties and stability of nanomaterials in complex matrices. Furthermore agglomeration and changes in the apparent density may occur once nanomaterials are embedded in a complex organic matrix, which in turn can change its fate and impact. The lack of harmonized, validated and standardized methods can on one side hinder the labelling for regulatory purposes, and on the other side prevent the comparison of published toxicological studies for humans and the environment to draw conclusions and formulate risk assessment.

This research topic aims at summarizing and reviewing state-of-the-art analytical techniques for the determination, size characterization, stability, density, agglomeration and surface modification of nanoparticles and nanomaterials in complex matrices. Key challenges on the field will be presented. Multidisciplinary studies are welcome. Examples of practical applications and presentation of on-going original works is highly encouraged, including studies based on Field Flow Fractionation techniques, DSC, UV-Vis, MALS, AUC, as well as sp-ICP-MS, XPS, ToF-SIMS, etc


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