INSTANT will face the challenge of the detection, identification and quantification of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) in complex matrices such as cosmetic products and engineered food and drinks. Therefore, new detection methods and technologies are mandatory. This is completely in line with the Call FP7-NMP.2011.1.3-1 which deals especially with innovative, practically implementable and cost effective measurement approaches for ENPs in complex matrices. Recently emerging ENPs include Ag, SiO2, TiO2, ZnO, and organic NPs. The “Opinion of the Scientific Committee on the Potential Risks Arising from Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies on Food and Feed Safety” released by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) (2009) also highlights the urgent need for such a tool. Accordingly, the interdisciplinary project INSTANT will develop an innovative and integrated technology for monitoring the exposure of consumers to ENPs using a label free opto-electrochemical sensor array in combination with novel recognition elements.
The SME driven INSTANT will develop an innovative, cost effective, and easy to use analytical tool to extract, detect and identify ENPs typically used in cosmetic products (e.g. sunscreen, toothpaste, deodorant, ...) and engineered food (e.g. instant soups, ketchup, ice cream, ...) and drinks (e.g. fruit juice, energy drinks, bottled water, ...). A crucial point of measuring in these complex matrices is the sample preparation and extraction. Therefore INSTANT will develop and integrate tailored extraction methods. Especially the size distribution of ENPs in the sample and the influence of the matrix on chemical and physical properties of the ENPs have to be taken into account. The INSTANT device will be designed to be used as a cost effective monitoring tool which is suitable for characterisation and classification of ENPs for the future implementation of quantitative structure-activity relationship studies.
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