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EMPIR project contributes to new international documentary standard

Magnetic nanoparticle clusters

New ISO standard for magnetic nanoparticles now available

The project

EMPIR project ‘Towards an ISO standard for magnetic nanoparticles’ (16NRM04, MagNaStand) is developing new measurement approaches for the properties of magnetic nanoparticles and products containing nanoparticles, and has already fed some of these into the international standardisation process.

Magnetic nanoparticles can be precisely activated by magnetic fields, and so offer many valuable applications, such as targeting cells for cancer treatment and other biomedical applications, waste-water treatment and mechanical engineering. A harmonised description and measurement of the magnetic nanoparticle properties is very important for a safe, efficient and reliable use of these nanomaterials by technical and biomedical end-users.

The new ISO standard

A significant activity within this project has been the input of knowledge and provision of content for a newly published ISO documentary standard. ISO is the International Organisation for Standardisation with members from many countries over the world, and it relies on the active participation of technical experts.

The new standard document ISO/TS 19807-1 Magnetic nanomaterials -- Part 1: Specification of characteristics and measurements for magnetic nanosuspensions provides the basic terms for a series of standards on magnetic nanomaterials at the Technical Committee ISO/TC229. It defines the important parameters of magnetic nanoparticles as well as the measurement methods to obtain them. The document was published in June 2019. This standard supports the acceptance of definitions, the consequent usage of SI units, the implementation of standard operating procedures and a reliable uncertainty analysis for the most common characterisation methods for magnetic nanoparticles.

The series of standards continues with the development of ISO/TS 19807-2 Nanotechnologies – Magnetic Nanomaterials -- Part 2: Nanostructured magnetic beads for nucleic acid extraction - characteristics and measurement methods, which describes the properties of a magnetic nanostructured material that are important in in-vitro analysis. The new document is currently being prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC229 with EMPIR project partner PTB.

Further standards documents in the series will detail the measurement procedures for magnetic properties of nanomaterials and performance measures for specific applications.


This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.

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