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Analysis of NIST Gold Nanoparticles Reference Materials Using the NexION 350 ICP-MS in Single Particle Mode

Introduction

Engineered nanomaterials (ENs) refer to the process of producing and/or controlling materials that have at least one dimension in the size range of 1 to 100 nm. They often possess different properties compared to bulk materials of the same composition, making them of great interest to a broad spectrum of industrial and commercial applications.

Recent studies have shown that some nanoparticles may be harmful to humans. A 2009 study in the Journal of Nanoparticle Research showed that zinc oxide nanoparticles were toxic to human lung cells in lab tests even at low concentrations (Weisheng et al., 2009).1 Other studies have shown that tiny silver particles (15 nanometers) killed liver and brain cells in laboratory rats. At the nano scale, particles are more chemically reactive and bioactive, allowing them to easily penetrate organs and cells (Braydich-Stolle et. al., 2005).2

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