Efforts that support nanotechnology and its diverse materials and application capabilities—from solar panel films to food products and packaging—are expanding. Recently, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) announced several revisions and updates to its comprehensive 13-part series of International Standards for nanotechnology vocabulary. ISO technical committee ISO/TC 229, Nanotechnologies, Joint Working Group (JWG) 1, Terminology and nomenclature, developed the ISO/Technical Specification (TS) 80004 series. As part of the revision process, the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) spearheaded work for ISO TC 229 JWG 1, including recently led efforts on revisions to two of the documents that are part of the series.
Nanotechnology—the manipulation and control of matter in the nanoscale—encompasses a vast range of industry stakeholders and uses. There are durable "smart" fabrics that are equipped with flexible nanoscale sensors, used for rehabilitation and for greater mobility in the military. In manufacturing, nanoscale materials, structures, devices, and systems aid production output at a lower cost and improved sustainability. To support the medical field, and vital to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, nanomedicine researchers are looking at ways that nanotechnology, specifically utilization of nanomaterials, can improve vaccines.
With all of these nano-driven innovations, having a widely understood, international vocabulary for nanotechnology is vital. The recently revised ISO TS documents, developed by JWG 1, support the long list of nanotechnology applications:
ISO/TS 80004-3 – Vocabulary – Carbon nano-objects, defines important terms and concepts for carbon nano-objects in a consistent manner, clarifying their interrelationship, as well as their relationship to terms previously used for conventional carbon materials. While Japan led the international development the original TS, the U.S. offered to take on the project leadership of this revision, with the goal of ensuring a consistent systematic nomenclature approach to terminology. To achieve this, the international group led by the U.S. updated definitions of some terms, but also deleted those terms that were no longer utilized within the nanotechnology community.
ISO/TS 80004-8 – Vocabulary – Manufacturing, provides an introduction to processes used in the early stages of the nanomanufacturing value chain, namely the intentional synthesis, generation, or control of nanomaterials, including fabrication steps in the nanoscale. The U.S. and UK co-led the international development of the original TS, with Dr. Mark Tuominen of the University of Massachusetts Amherst serving as the project co-leader from the U.S. Ms. Jennifer Marshall of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) took on the project leadership of the revision of the TS in 2017, to promote the development of a consistent nomenclature approach across ISO TC 229 terminology documents.
Dr. Scott Brown of The Chemours Company, representing the American Chemistry Council, leads the U.S. efforts as the U.S. TAG WG 1 chair. “Terminology and nomenclature lay the foundation for communication” he noted. “It is essential that the terms developed in ISO TC 229 are robust to further the science, trade, and sustainability of nanotechnologies. These terms are used by stakeholders across the globe and will have lasting impact. Ensuring consistency and timeliness in TC 229 is essential, and the U.S. TAG has been working diligently towards this goal.”
ANSI is the U.S. member body to ISO and, via its U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
Vital Work in Nanomaterials to Support Health Continues: A Liposome Update
The U.S. TAG continues to be an active and engaged contributor to JWG 1. In addition to leading the revision of the aforementioned documents, the U.S. recently submitted a New Work Item Proposal to develop a vocabulary for liposomes. Liposomes are nanostructured materials, and due to their versatile nature, they can be used in a variety of applications, such as drug products, cosmetics, and dietary supplements.
Two of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized by FDA, Moderna and BioNTech/Pfizer, are based on liposomes. The proposed document will include input from international experts in the pharmacological, medical, and personal care industries.
"The U.S. Technical Advisory Group’s (TAG) stewardship of this liposome standard is a testament to the U.S. leadership in the advancement of novel technology critical for many applications, ranging from next generation vaccines to targeted delivery of nutrients to crops," said Dr. Vladimir Murashov of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), who chairs the U.S. TAG to ISO TC 229. "This effort is another example of the critical role that the TAG plays in facilitating commercialization of nanotechnology products and in demonstrating U.S. leadership."
To get involved in the U.S. TAG, contact Heather Benko, ANSI senior manager, nanotechology standardization activities.
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Find out more information about the updates and access other standards in the current series via ISO's news announcement, "The Science of Tiny Little Things."
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