Analytical insights into risk assessments of nanomaterials


As nanotechnology is still an emerging field with an increasing variety of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs), products and applications, there is a great relevance in assessing health and environmental hazards. This presentation focuses on analytical approaches for the identification of ENMs in products and in various biological matrices after different routes of exposure like ingestion, inhalation and skin contact.

The analytical challenges of three cases will be discussed in details: For exposed tissues, the matrix dissolution prior to measurement by asymmetric flow field flow fraction hyphenated to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (AF4-ICPMS) is challenging because the ENMs must stay stable regarding to particle size and composition. A new enzymatic approach is explored in comparison to the dissolution by tetra methyl ammonium hydroxide. Next to in vivo studies, in vitro cell exposure testing has been put forward as a faster approach to screen ENMs on their toxic potential but also to study the possible cellular uptake which depends on the characteristics of the ENMs. The analysis by AF4-ICPMS delivers new insights into the understanding of ENMs in mainly complex media. Additional aspects, like e.g. the composition of the cell culture medium that affects aggregation of ENMs and this in turn may affect exposure levels, are of great relevance.
Silver containing garments are frequently used to combat bacterial superinfections of the skin. A pre-clinical study on the potential for release and distribution of ENMs from a related functionalized textile will be illustrated.


Petra Krystek

Since 2009, Petra Krystek is visiting scientist at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), VU University Amsterdam;
Petra Krystek gained her PhD in analytical chemistry at the University of Mainz (1999) and she has more than 20 years of experience within this field; especially in ICPMS. Her research is strongly application focused, especially regarding to ultra-trace, speciation and nano-analysis. She has been involved in many interdisciplinary projects about health and environmental aspects. She worked at Thermo (1999-2001), at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment / RIVM (2001-2006) and at Philips (2007-2015).
Since 2003, she has been freelance assessor for ISO/IEC 17025 in inorganic analytical chemistry at the Dutch Accreditation Council (RvA). She is board member of the Section Analytical Chemistry of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society (KNCV). Within her international network she is expert in the working group for ICP spectrometry of the European Pharmacopoeia Commission (EDQM).
Her current research interests are focused on exposure studies and risk assessment of nanomaterials.