February 2019

The NML releases first-ever nanoparticle quality control material for number-based concentration

The UK’s National Measurement Laboratory (NML) at LGC has expanded its portfolio of materials to include the first ever nanoparticle (NP) quality control material assessed for particle number-based concentration, traceable to the SI (International System of Units).

Nanotechnology is increasingly being used to overcome scientific, commercial and industrial challenges. As a result, nanomaterials are currently incorporated in over 1300 commercial products with a global market value of over €20 billion. Following recent changes in regulation, their presence must now be clearly indicated on the label of food (1169/2011) and cosmetic (1223/2009) products marketed in the European Union.

A nanomaterial has been defined as a material where at least 50% (1-50% in specific cases) of the particles have one or more external dimensions in the 1 to 100 nm size range (2011/696/EU). In order to comply with the regulation, the number-based concentration of particles within the given size range must be determined.

Despite the regulatory requirements, no reference materials or quality control materials with a value assigned to NP number concentration have been available to date. The quality control material produced by the NML’s Inorganic Analysis and Reference Materials teams is a world first and will help scientists and industry with instrument calibration and ultimately ensure the safety of nanomaterial-containing products for consumers.

The material LGCQC5050 consists of colloidal gold nanoparticles and has been assessed for particle number concentration (number of particles/gram of sample). These measurements were performed using single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (spICP-MS/MS).

This quality control material is intended primarily to evaluate and qualify methodology and/or instrument performance related to the concentration of nanoparticles based on their number. Indicative values are also provided for particle diameter and gold mass fraction.

LGCQC5050 is available to purchase from LGC Standards.

For further information on this or any other materials please contact uksales@lgcstandards.com.