Characterization of Nanoparticle Batch-To-Batch Variability

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Sonja Mülhopt
  • Silvia Diabaté
  • Marco Dilger
  • Christel Adelhelm
  • Christopher Anderlohr
  • Thomas Bergfeldt
  • Johan Gómez de la Torre
  • Yunhong Jiang
  • Dominique Langevin
  • Eugene Mahon
  • Inge Nelissen
  • Jordi Piella
  • Victor Puntes
  • Sikha Ray
  • Reinhard Schneider
  • Terry Wilkins
  • Carsten Weiss
  • Hanns-Rudolf Paur

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Department of Engineering Sciences, Applied Materials Science, Uppsala University
  • University of Bath
  • Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, CNRS UMR 8502, Université Paris Sud 11, Université Paris Saclay
  • Centre for BioNano Interactions, School of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, University College Dublin
  • Health Department, Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO)
  • Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), CSIC and The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology
  • University of Leeds


A central challenge for the safe design of nanomaterials (NMs) is the inherent variability of NM properties, both as produced and as they interact with and evolve in, their surroundings. This has led to uncertainty in the literature regarding whether the biological and toxicological effects reported for NMs are related to specific NM properties themselves, or rather to the presence of impurities or physical effects such as agglomeration of particles. Thus, there is a strong need for systematic evaluation of the synthesis and processing parameters that lead to potential variability of different NM batches and the reproducible production of commonly utilized NMs. The work described here represents over three years of effort across 14 European laboratories to assess the reproducibility of nanoparticle properties produced by the same and modified synthesis routes for four of the OECD priority NMs (silica dioxide, zinc oxide, cerium dioxide and titanium dioxide) as well as amine-modified polystyrene NMs, which are frequently employed as positive controls for nanotoxicity studies. For 46 different batches of the selected NMs, all physicochemical descriptors as prioritized by the OECD have been fully characterized. The study represents the most complete assessment of NMs batch-to-batch variability performed to date and provides numerous important insights into the potential sources of variability of NMs and how these might be reduced.


Original languageEnglish
Article number311
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2018


  • nanosafety , particle size , impurities , reactive oxygen species