August 12, 2009

Scientists update nanoparticle sizing rule

U.S. scientists say a major inter-laboratory study has resulted in an update in guidelines used to measure the size of nanoparticles in solutions.

The study, organized principally by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory, enabled updated guidelines that now include statistically evaluated data, researchers said.

The standards body ASTM International -- formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials -- used data from 26 laboratories to produce the new benchmark for measuring the sizes and size distribution of nanoparticles suspended in fluids.

Vince Hackley, who led the NIST portion of the study, said the new guidelines affect one of the key measurements in nanotechnology research, especially for biological applications. The size of a nanoparticle can significantly affect how cells respond to it.

More information about the revised standards is available at