National Physical Laboratory

Royal Society of Chemistry – NPL Symposium

24 Apr 2018 : RSC Symposium   Royal Society of Chemistry logo   NPL logo

Nanoparticle concentration – critical needs and state-of-the-art measurement

24 April 2018, Burlington House, London

Symposium Format and Topics

Nanoparticles are increasingly used in innovative products manufactured by advanced industries and provide enhanced, unique properties of great commercial and societal value. The measurement of number concentration of particles in colloidal suspension is of major commercial interest as it enables the optimisation of materials specification and design, and is essential for risk assessment and quality control. It also supports compliance with regulation and underpins any claim to reliability, performance and lifetime in the formulation of products containing particles.

In recent years, there have been substantial advances in the ability to directly measure particle concentration in colloidal suspension. However, no formal evaluation and validation of available techniques have taken place and nanoparticle reference materials that are certified for number concentration do not yet exist.

This one-day Symposium, organised by the Analytical Division East Anglia Region of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), will bring together academics, measurement experts, instrument manufacturers, nanomaterials producers and industries interested in their use and applications to:

  • Discuss the state-of-the-art of nanoparticle analysis with focus on nanoparticle number concentration.
  • Present new methods to measure absolute nanoparticle concentration with low uncertainty, alongside the capabilities of a range of commercially available instrumentation.
  • Identify needs and potential pathways to address current limitations in methods, reference materials and protocols.
  • Discuss industrial requirements in the framework of product development, regulatory requirements and the development of standards.

The outputs of the Symposium will be used as input to a variety of international efforts related to measurements of nanomaterials, including national standards organisations, VAMAS and ISO Technical Committees on Nanotechnology.

This Symposium will be followed on Wednesday 25 April by an Open Day, at the same location, dedicated to the outcomes of the European project Innanopart – Metrology for Innovative Nanoparticle – of the European Metrology Programme for Research and Innovation (EMPIR). Themes that will be presented and discussed are measurements of nanoparticle concentration, agglomeration and surface chemistry. Attendees are invited to attend this event free of charge. More details can be found below.

All downloads are Adobe Acrobat PDF files, unless otherwise stated.


Invited Speakers

We are delighted to announce that the following leading experts have confirmed that they will provide in-depth insights to the issues of measuring nanoparticle concentration:

  • Dr Andrea Haase, Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung (Germany)
    Quantification of nanoparticle cellular uptake for toxicity studies (abstract)

  • Dr Heidi Goenaga-Infante, LGC (UK)
    Determination of number concentration of inorganic nanoparticles using spICPMS: Recent developments and remaining challenges (abstract)

  • Dr Vince Hackley, National Institute of Standards and Technology (USA)
    Nanoparticle reference materials: Lessons Learned and the Case for Concentration Measurements (abstract)

  • Prof Fredrik Höök, Chalmers University (Sweden)
    Single nanoparticle analytics: from viruses via exosomes to drug delivery carrier (abstract)

  • Prof Nikolai Khlebtsov, Russian Academy of Science, Saratov State University (Russia)
    Determination of size and concentration of gold and silica nanoparticles from absorption and turbidity spectra (abstract)

  • Dr Michael Krumrey, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (Germany)
    Nanoparticle concentration determination with Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) (abstract)

  • Dr Richard Brown, National Physical Laboratory (UK)
    The L S Theobald Lecture: Measuring airborne nanoparticles, and related topics (abstract)

  • Dr Victoria Coleman, National Measurement Institute (Australia)
    Relative nanoparticle concentration with benchtop methods (abstract)

Other Speakers

  • Kuba Tatarkiewicz (MANTA Instruments, USA)
    What does it take to accurately measure the concentration of particles in colloids? (abstract)

  • Hanna Jankevics Jones (Malvern Panalytic)
    Advances in particle concentration from Malvern Panalytical

  • Hans Van Der Voorn (Izon Science, New Zealand)

  • Denis Koltsov (BREC Solutions Limited, UK)
    Particle Tracking Analysis for particle counting (abstract)

Download the Symposium programme here

Organising Committee


Caterina Minelli (National Physical Laboratory, UK)

Scientific Committee:

Jeff Fagan (National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA)

Roger Wood (Royal Society of Chemistry, UK)

Ute Resch-Genger (Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung, Germany)


We are always looking for sponsors for this event. Please get in touch with the event organiser Caterina Minelli if you are interested (

We are grateful to our sponsors for their financial support:

Horiba logo   Malvern Panalytical logo
Izon Science logo   Agilent logo
NPL logo   EU flag   Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) logo   European Materials Characterisation Council (EMCC) logo
Institute of Physics (IOP) Materials and Characterisation Group logo   Innanopart logo   Institute of Physics (IOP) Nanoscale Physics and Technology Group logo

This Symposium is supported by the UK National Measurement System (NMS) of the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and by the European Union (EU) through the European Metrology Programme for Research and Innovation (EMPIR). EMPIR is jointly funded by EMPIR-participating countries within EURAMET and the EU.

This Symposium is endorsed by the European Materials Characterisation Council (EMCC).

Call for Papers

The meeting is now open for papers. You are welcome to present your research in the form of a poster during the meeting. Please send the title and abstract of your presentation to Caterina Minelli by 31 March. Posters should be prepared in A1 format. Attendees who will also be attending the Innanopart open day on Wednesday 25 April are welcome to leave the posters on display until the conclusion of the events on 25 April.

An abstract template is available here


The number of participants at the Symposium will be limited to around 120. Use the link below to register to the Symposium. Please also indicate if you wish to attend:

a)  The Symposium Dinner on 24 April
b)  The Innanopart project Open Day on 25 April

The Symposium registration fee covers workshop delegate pack, refreshments and lunch. An optional dinner will take place in the evening in London.

The organisers will offer student bursaries of £100 up to a maximum of 10 to attend the Symposium. The RSC Analytical Division East Anglia Region Committee will consider any such applications, which should be sent by email to the event organiser Caterina Minelli in the first place, together with a statement of merit and the contact details of a referee.

Early Bird registration (by 15 March 2018) £140
RSC members and Innanopart members and collaborators £100
Students £70
Full registration £160
Exhibition fee (inclusive of one attendance) £400
Symposium Dinner £70
Innanopart Open Day on 25 April Free

Registration has now closed – if you are interested in attending, please contact the event organiser, Caterina Minelli

Companies that wish to exhibit at the Symposium should contact Caterina Minelli at the earliest convenience. Please note that the number of exhibition spaces is limited.

Please contact Caterina Minelli if you are interested in sponsoring the Symposium. Our gold and silver sponsors will be offered a platform for an oral presentation and an exhibitor stand.

Workshop Venue and Travel

Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) - Burlington House


Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House,
Piccadilly, London W1J 0BA
Tel: +44 (0)20 7437 8656


Burlington House is located in the heart of Piccadilly in Central London. It can be easily reached by train via the overground and underground (tube) rail network. The location is well-connected to London airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, City, Stanstead and Luton; as well as Eurostar at London's St Pancras International station.


A number of hotels are available in the area. every hotel Piccadilly has agreed to a discounted rate from £219 incl. VAT for a flexible standard double bedroom. Price may increase. Please mention that you are attending the Symposium organised by NPL and the RSC when booking.

NPL meeting on 25 April 2018

All attendees of the Symposium are invited to attend the EMPIR Innanopart project Open Day, which will also take place on 25 April at the RSC headquarters at Burlington House in central London.

Download the Innanopart open day programme here

Speakers include:

  • Alex Shard (NPL, UK)
    The Innanopart project

  • Dorota Bartczak (LGC, UK)
    Number-based concentration measurements of polydispersed samples with PTA

  • Konstantina Vasilatou (METAS, Switzerland)
    Metrological characterisation of the Electrospray-Differential Mobility method for the determination of nanoparticle number concentration in colloids

  • Caterina Minelli (NPL, UK)
    Concentration of nanoparticles by UV-Vis spectroscopy and Differential Centrifugal Sedimentation

  • Hugo Kerdoncuff (DFM, Denmark)
    Applying hollow core photonic crystal fibre for optical characterisation of nanoparticles

  • Karen Murphy (National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA)
    Measuring nanoparticle concentration using single particle ICP-MS

  • Vasile-Dan Hodoroaba (Federal Institute for Material Research and Testing, Germany)
    Lessons on measurement of nanoparticle size and shape learnt from NanoDefine

  • Uwe Schedler (PolyAn, Germany)
    Surface characterisation of particles for Life Science applications – an industry perspective

  • David Cant (NPL, UK)
    Comprehensive characterisation of polymer core-shell nanoparticles via the use of complementary technique

  • Anja Hermanns (Federal Institute for Material Research and Testing, Germany)
    Determining the shell thickness of core-shell nanoparticles using scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM)

  • Wolfgang Werner (Technical University Vienna, Austria)
    Use of the inelastic background in XPS: fundamentals and practical applications

  • Ute Resch-Genger (Federal Institute for Material Research and Testing, Germany)
    Simple and Versatile Methods for Quantifying Functional Groups, Ligands, and Biomolecules on Nanomaterials

The specific technical objectives of Innanopart which will be discussed are to:

  1. Develop traceable measurement and calibration protocols to measure particle number concentrations in liquid suspension with a target relative uncertainty of better than 10 % for spherical particles in the size range 1 nm to 1000 nm.

  2. Develop methods to quantify the number concentration of particles in partially agglomerated or aggregated states within a liquid suspension of otherwise monodisperse primary particles and the ability to measure number concentration of particles with a non-spherical shape.

  3. Develop standard procedures to traceably measure the chemical composition and thickness of the nanoparticle shell, both to within 10 % uncertainty.

  4. Conduct two (VAMAS) inter-laboratory studies to establish a good practice guide for industry and thereby establish laboratory-scale methods to enable valid, routine monitoring and quality control of particle concentration and surface chemistry for nanoparticle-based formulations and products.

  5. Engage with industry that manufactures and/or exploits nanoparticles in order to facilitate the uptake of the technology and measurement infrastructure developed by the project, to support the development of new, innovative products, thereby enhancing the competitiveness of EU industry.

Registration to this meeting can be made when registering for the Symposium. If you have any questions, please contact Caterina Minelli.

Last Updated: 17 Apr 2018
Created: 17 Aug 2017


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