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Nano-Safety Research Group

Specialists in the assessment of nanomaterial toxicity to human health and the environment


NanoChOp: Chemical and Optical Characterisation of Nanomaterials in Biological Systems

Staff: Vicki Stone and Alan Greenaway*

 *School of Engineering and Physics (EPS)


Funding:European Metrology Research Programme


Project Aims:


The overall aims of NanoChOp are :

  • To develop techniques which can be used to measure the physico-chemical properties of nanomaterials (size, surface charge, agglomeration elemental composition) in biological matrices.
  • To develop traceable methods and standards which can be used to measure optical properties of fluorescent nanomaterials.
  • To develop reliable labelling methods to allow nanomaterials to be tracked in biological systems.

The specific aim of HWU within this project is to develop 3-dimensional TIRF (total internal reflectance fluorescence) imaging with a resolution of 4 nm for fixed and for lived specimens over time.  Until now TIRF imaging has been limited to 2 dimensions but this project will allow the entire depth of a cell (10mm) to be imaged, Other fluorescent techniques (e.g. confocal) have a resolution of 200nm.


Project website:


  • Project Partners:
    • LGC Group (LGC)
    • Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)
    • National Physical Laboratory (NPL)
    • Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)
    • Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM)
    • RCNS HAS