A new standard guide developed by ASTM International’s nanotechnology committee (E56) seeks to familiarize laboratory scientists with background information and technical content necessary to image and identify engineered nanomaterials in cellular and noncellular samples.
The standard (E3275) is specific to the use of the darkfield microscopy/hyperspectral imaging analysis technique. In this technique, the resulting sample analysis allows for direct visualization and identification of the nanomaterials based on comparison to the spectral profiles of well-characterized reference nanomaterials.
“There is rapidly increasing interest in using nanomaterials as drug delivery agents or as drug candidates themselves. The use of nanomaterials in medicine has a large economic potential in the global marketplace,” said Bryant Nelson, staff research chemist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. “Therefore, it is important that biopharmaceutical manufacturers, regulatory bodies, and clinical testing labs have reliable methods to verify the presence and distribution of the nanomaterials in test samples.”
According to Nelson, ASTM subcommittee chair, these types of analyses can be used to determine if the nanomaterial was properly delivered to the cellular compartment. Other tests and analytical techniques will need to be used to determine if the drug agent is released and delivered to its intended intracellular target.
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