The two day meeting was chaired by Prof. Kenneth Dawson, project coordinator and Director of the Centre for BioNano Interactions (CBNI) at the School of Chemistry, University College Dublin.
The meeting opened with a welcoming address from Prof. Dawson followed by an update on the present status of the project, and a consideration of the future directions. A discussion regarding the challenges and findings of the project thus far and possible conclusions in advance of the upcoming Mid Term Review closed out the session.
In later sessions, the discussion aimed to address framing of scientific questions in the context of particle dispersion quality and realistic exposure scenarios. Material life, i.e. degradation and dissolution, possible contamination due to synthesis conditions and realistic exposure scenarios were placed at the centre of the conversation. The connection between these effects and nanomaterial distribution in different biological systems was stated to be a pressing issue of the field. A series of steps were outlined to address issues discussed, including further training, focussed communication between partners on the topics raised and an outline of specific studies to be carried out by partners with a view to addressing the hurdles met to date.
On the second day of the meeting, the conversation shifted away from particle lifetime and quality to effects of the shape and material on the distribution of materials. Discussion focused on the definition of shape; intrinsic properties of particles, which can be used to classify shapes; and possible methods of characterisation. It was stressed the need to facilitate communication both at European and international level among relevant projects, organisations and initiatives that aim to address the issue of nanomaterial shape and classification, and to this end a focus group will be gathered on this topic to work out the relevant issues in the arena.
In the second session of the day an updated strategy for work package 3 and the Value Chain Advisory Committee was considered with a view to seeking internal and external consensus on the list of materials to be further investigated in terms of market research.