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Nanomaterial hazard assessment – Training materials and webinars by PATROLS project

Nanomaterial hazard assessment – Training materials and webinars by PATROLS project

Finished in 2021, PATROLS was an international project combining a team of academics, industrial scientists, government officials and risk assessors to deliver advanced and realistic tools and methods for nanomaterial safety assessment.

PATROLS achieved significant results over its lifetime and left a substantial legacy which can be used by industry, regulators and researchers to help move towards reducing animal usage in testing and in understanding how to test for realistic exposures to nanomaterials.

We have gathered some of the highlights of their work on nanomaterial hazard assessment:


Webinars for training:

Factsheets (aimed both at scientists & policymakers):

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Conference: Future-proof Approaches for Risk Governance – Lessons Learned from Nanomaterials

Conference: Future-proof Approaches for Risk Governance – Lessons Learned from Nanomaterials

We invite you to register your interest in participating in our conference to help shape international approaches to addressing future challenges in risk governance of nano- & advanced materials. This includes safe- and sustainable by design (SSbD) and harmonisation and standardisation.  The conference will comprise two parts:

  1. In person (by invitation only), at the OECD Conference Centre in Paris on the 24th and 25th January 2023. – Document library: Please find here the agenda and relevant background documents
  2. An online session open to everybody on 31st January 2023.

Register your interest to participate via this link

The main aim of our conference is to ensure that results from our projects are taken up to:

  • support the implementation of the Chemical Strategy for Sustainability (CSS)
  • address future challenges in risk governance of new- and advanced materials

Conference approach

We will use interactive roundtables to present and discuss our key results and recommendations with a broad international audience of relevant stakeholders. The outcomes from these discussions are expected to complement and support the work of other stakeholders and initiatives on risk governance of nano- and advanced materials, including on the following themes:

  • Improved governance practices
  • Harmonisation and standardisation approaches
  • Data management (and FAIR data)
  • Accessibility of tools, instruments and guidance via an online portal
  • Effective organisation of risk governance

Why you must attend this conference

The fundamental premise of our projects is that governance must be inclusive.  Thus, we are extending an invitation to all stakeholders that can contribute to this discussion and are involved in ongoing initiatives related to the CSS and/or (risk) governance of advanced materials. This includes representatives from NGOs, industry, research organisations, EC, EU Member States and experts from the OECD WPMN, and in particular those involved in:

  • (Research) projects in the context of the implementation of the CSS, e.g., projects on SSbD
  • Developing harmonisation and standardisation approaches for advanced (nano) materials
  • Nanosafety research
  • Regulatory risk assessment or method development of new (nano)materials

NB spaces for the in-person event are limited so please register your interest at your earliest convenience.

Organised by the NMBP-13 projects NANORIGO, RiskGONE and Gov4Nano in collaboration with the OECD’s Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN).

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New Training Material video – NanoQSAR methodology

New Training Material video – NanoQSAR methodology

A new RiskGone training material provides guidance on how to develop appropriate scientifically validated Nano-(Q)SAR/(Q)SPR models for the development of safe-by-design nanomaterials as well as regulatory purposes.

Nano-(Q)SAR/(Q)SPR models are an adaptation of (Q)SAR/(Q)SPR methodology for nanomaterials, where the models may be applied for nanoforms of the same substance or nanoforms of different substances. The specificity of nanomaterials requires a special approach in a few aspects: (i) appropriate characterization of nominal nanoforms and in the test conditions, (ii) descriptors especially enabling the distinction of nano forms of the same substances, and (iii) appropriate definition of applicability domain of Nano-(Q)SAR/(Q)SPR models.


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RiskGONE at the Nanoweek 2022 – meeting the international nanosafety community!

RiskGONE at the Nanoweek 2022 – meeting the international nanosafety community!

From 20 to 24 June 2022, the international nanosafety community met in Limassol, Cyprus, for the #nanoweek and NanoCommons final conference.

The theme of the conference was Evolution of Nanosafety and materials sustainability as we transition into Horizon Europe”.

Many projects were represented, including RiskGONE, sister projects from the NMBP-13 cluster Nanorigo and Gov4Nano. NanoCommons, NanosolveIT and the NanoSafety cluster were present at the discussions, too.

The conference covered the following topics:

  • Safe-and-Sustainable-by-Design of (nano-enabled) products & processes: including Hazard identification, ecotoxicity and toxicity
  • New modelling methodologies and nanoinformatics approaches
  • Data Management – Databases – FAIR data (findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability)
  • Risk governance and regulation
  • International communities of research
  • Many opportunities for young nanoscientists (speed datings, trainings, etc.)

There were two sessions dedicated to NMBP-13 projects on risk governance. The first one was a presentation of the Portal and IT infrastructure supporting Risk Governance of nano- and advanced materials and nano-enabled products. The second one was discussing the future of risk governance.

RiskGONE partners also presented the project work in developing test methods for characterization and hazard assessment. On the last day, RiskGONE held its general assembly.

Conference booklet


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New training video – Quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR)

New training video – Quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR)

In a new training material for RiskGone, a neural network provides an overview of QSAR models and how they can be used. QSAR models define the relationship between the variance in molecular structures and the variance in a modelled biological activity for a group of sufficiently similar compounds. Models can be used to obtain missing data describing the physical chemical properties or activity of compounds. They can predict the modelled activity for untested chemicals without the necessity of providing experiments. The advantages of QSAR methods include a reduction in the cost of products on the market, a reduction of time needed to conduct experiments, a reduction of the need for experimental research using animals, and a reduction in waste caused by experiments.

Watch the presentation to find out more! 

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New training video – Ethics of Nanomedicine – Lecture by Dr Ineke Malsch, RiskGone partner 

On 17 March 2022, Ineke Malsch discussed Ethics of Nanomedicine during the course on ethics of biomedical research organised by the VISION project. Nanomedicine is applied in e.g., mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, and enables digital twins, organ on chip and wearables. Introducing nanomaterials in the body raises nanosafety issues. Ethical issues are e.g., related to freedom, equality, data protection and biosecurity. Researchers should contribute to Responsible Research and Innovation, Dr Malsch explained during the session. The principles inclusiveness, anticipation, openness and responsiveness are leading. The preparation of the lecture was supported by the RiskGONE project.

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Nanosafety Training School: Towards Safe and Sustainable by Design Advanced (Nano)Materials

Nanosafety Training School: Towards Safe and Sustainable by Design Advanced (Nano)Materials

The School aims to transfer state-of-the-art knowledge on a variety of topics from key experts to the new generation of professionals working in the areas of safety and sustainability of advanced (nano)materials. To this end, the School will deliver keynote lectures and will engage the participants in interprofessional training by means of roleplay and hands-on training exercises. The programme will balance experimental and modelling approaches in each of the School topics listed below.

The school will take place in the historic centre of Venice, Italy from 15 – 20 May 2022. It is hosted by the company GreenDecision in the frame of the EU Horizon 2020 project SUNSHINE and is co-organised and substantially contributed by the Horizon 2020 projects ASINA, SbD4Nano, SABYDOMA, SAbyNA, DIAGONAL, HARMLESS, NanoInformaTIX, NanoSolveIT, Gov4Nano, NanoRIGO, RiskGONE, NanoCommons, CHARISMA and the US Duke-led INFRAMES initiative.

Join our school to gain more knowledge and multidisciplinary expertise!

Who should attend?

  • PhD Students and Postdocs

  • Senior Researchers

  • Industry Practitioners

  • Regulators

  • Policy Makers

  • Civil Society representatives

  • Anyone else interested in the Safety and Sustainability of Advanced Materials


  • Transition from Safe-by-Design to Safe-and-Sustainable-by-Design of advanced (nano)materials: a historical perspective and current policy landscape

  • What they are: Physicochemical identity – Intrinsic and extrinsic properties affecting release, biodistribution, environmental fate, exposure, human and environmental toxicity

  • What they are: Lifecycle release and transformations

  • Where they go: Environmental fate, human biodistribution and exposure

  • What they do: Human and environmental toxicity

  • Similarity assessment, grouping and read-across approaches

  • Risk assessment and management

  • FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data management and data quality assessment

  • Risk governance


  • Gain in-depth interdisciplinary understanding of key topics pertaining to the safety and sustainability of advanced materials

  • Engage in a dialogue with peers and key experts

  • Benefit from a variety of additional networking opportunities such as a boat trip in the Venetian Lagoon and a social dinner

Draft School Agenda

A draft version of the agenda is available HERE.


To register for the School, please fill in the registration form HERE.

The School attendance is free of charge. The number of attendees to be accepted is limited to 70.

The registration will open 1 March 2022. Registration Deadline: 15 April 2022.

School Location 

The core School programme will take place in the historic Auditorium Santa Margherita Venice, Italy.


Scientific enquiries:

Danail Hristozov, GreenDecision (IT) |

Organisation, logistics, local support and administration:

Stefania Melandri, Warrant Hub (IT) |

Paola Basso, GreenDecision (IT) |

Stella Stoycheva, Yordas Group (DE) |

Cathrin Cailliau, Yordas Group (DE) |

School Certificates

Each participant will receive a Certificate of Attendance upon successful completion of the School.

School Committees

Scientific Committee

  • Danail Hristozov, GreenDecision (Venice, IT) & Emerge (Sofia, BG)

  • Lang Tran, Institute of Occupational Medicine (Edinburgh, UK)

  • Antonio Marcomini, University Ca’Foscari (Venice, IT)

  • Miguel A. Bañares,  Spanish National Research Council (Madrid, ES)

  • Anna Costa, Italian National Research Council (Rome, IT)

  • Tobias Stöger, Helmholtz Zentrum (München, DE)

  • Otmar Schmid, Helmholtz Zentrum (München, DE)

  • Martin Himly, University of Salzburg (Salzburg, AT)

  • Carlos Fito, Instituto Tecnológico del Embalaje Transporte y Logística (Valencia, ES)

  • Andrew Nelson, University of Leeds (Leeds, UK)

  • Elisa Moschini, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (Luxembourg, LU)

  • Socorro Vázquez-Campos, Leitat Technological Center (Barcelona, ES)

  • Mark Wiesner, CEINT, Duke University (Durham, US)

Organising Committee

  • Stefania Melandri, Warrant Group S.p.A. (Casalecchio di Reno, IT)

  • Stella Stoycheva, Yordas Group (Forchheim, DE)

  • Susanne Resch, BioNanoNet Forschungsgesellschaft (Graz, AT)

  • Paola Basso, GreenDecision (Venice, IT)

  • Lisa Pizzol, GreenDecision (Venice, IT)

  • Cathrin Cailliau, Yordas Group (Forchheim, DE)

  • Hildegard Luhmann, European Research Services GmbH (Münster, DE)

  • Elisa Giubilato, GreenDecision (Venice, IT)

Organising projects

ASINA logo.pngCHARISMA+Logo.pngDIAGONAL LOGO.pngHARMLESS_Logo.pngNanoInformaTIX logo.pngSabydoma_Logo.pngLogo-Sabyna-S-blanca.pngSbD4nano Logo.png


  • GreenDecision (Venice, IT)

  • Yordas Group (Forchheim, DE)

  • Warrant Hub S.p.A. (Casalecchio di Reno, IT)

  • BioNanoNet Forschungsgesellschaft mbH (Graz, AT)

  • Emerge (Sofia, BG)

Contributing Projects

These projects have received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 952924 (SUNSHINE), No 862444 (ASINA), No 952921 (CHARISMA), No 953152 (DIAGONAL), No 953183 (HARMLESS), No 814426 (NanoInformaTIX), No 862296 (SABYDOMA), No 862419 (SAbyNA), No 862195 (SbD4Nano), No 814401 (Gov4Nano), No 731032 (NanoCommons), No 814530 (NANORIGO), No 814572 (NanoSolveIT), No 814425 (RISKGONE).

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Watch RiskGONE partner presenting in European Researchers Night – Video

Watch RiskGONE partner presenting in European Researchers Night – Video

The European Researchers’ Night is a Europe-wide public event, that aims at displaying the diversity of science and its impact on citizens’ daily lives. This year, the event took place on Friday 24 September. Spread out across 29 countries, the vent brought European researchers together in several activities and events to promote research projects across Europe and shorten the gap between research and the general public.

RiskGONE partners participated in some of these events. In particular, CSIC was part of the programme in the Spanish city of Zaragoza, presenting a talk with the title ‘RiskGONE: Riesgos y Seguridad en Nanotecnología’ (RiskGONE: Risks and Safety in Nanotechnology), under the guise of the question ‘Are there any risks associated with the use of nanomaterials?’.

The talk explored the unexpectedly common presence of nanomaterials and their high impact on society, considering the physical characteristics of nanomaterials, such as particle size, their chemical nature, among others, influence their compatibility with organisms, their biodegradability, their accumulation and their toxic effects.

Additionally, the talk discussed RiskGone as a European project, made up of academic and scientific organizations, that proposes to evaluate the possible toxicological risks involved in the use of nanomaterials in order to subsequently work with governments to achieve legislation on the production, safety, use, containment and disposal of nanomaterials.

Watch the full recording of the presentation below!

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Video – Comet assay, step by step

The Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), coordinator of RiskGONE, created a short video showing the main steps in conducting a comet assay, in order to assess the toxicity of nanomaterials.

One of the aims of the RiskGONE project is the verification, optimisation and development of methods for the characterization and human and eco-toxicological hazard assessment of ENMs (engineered nanomaterials). This is done through interlaboratory round robin exercises and training on selected methods. One of these methods is the Comet assay (single cell gel electrophoresis), a simple method used for measuring DNA damage in eukaryotic cells. The method is widely used for detection of strand breaks as well as specific DNA lesions, such as oxidized purines and pyrimidines, and is considered a useful method for genotoxicity testing in vitro as well as in vivo.

NILU provided RiskGONE partners with training on this method at a course that took place in February 2020, and in March 2021, through a practical online course/video learning due to the COVID-related restrictions. The video available below is part of the training material used in this course.

How the Comet Assay works

After exposure to the compound of interest (in this case, ENM), the cells are embedded in agarose on a microscope slide. After treatment with a detergent solution, membranes, cytoplasm, and most of the soluble cell contents are dissolved, and the DNA nucleoids are freed. The nucleoids are then subjected to an electrophoretic field, which makes the negatively charged DNA migrate towards the positive electrode-anode. DNA in the nucleoids is very compact and its movement is limited, but if a break is present in the DNA strands, the DNA loop is free to extend under the electrophoretic field and move towards the anode. When DNA is stained with specific dyes and examined microscopically, images resembling comets are seen; the comet tail consists of loops of DNA that, due to the presence of damage (strand break), have moved out from the nucleoid (comet head). The amount of DNA in the tail reflects the number of breaks in the DNA.

The standard comet assay measures single- and double-strand breaks. A modified version of the assay by inclusion of lesion-specific enzymes can detect specific DNA lesions, such as oxidized purines using formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase (Fpg).

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Comet Assay – Practical online course/video training by NILU

Comet Assay – Practical online course/video training by NILU

Making the gel drops: cells embedded in agarose are put on slides

Dates: 15th-19th March 2021

Location: remote/virtual

The Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), coordinator of RiskGONE, is providing a practical online course/video learning on the Comet assay.

This training workshop represents the second edition of a series of trainings to be organised as part of RiskGONE`s training activities. The first edition of the course was physically held at NILU`s premises in Kjeller, Norway, on 17th-20th February 2020. Then, RiskGONE project partners joined the course from Swansea University, the University of Birmingham, and the University of Bergen, and they were trained on different assays for use with engineered nanomaterials.

This course welcomes participants from H2020 projects Twinalt and VISION, besides RiskGONE and the H2020-NMBP-13 network.

Due to the restrictions now imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the second edition of the course was re-arranged to a remote format. The course will take place for 5 days.

On the first day, the background and principles of the assay will be introduced in a series of lectures.

On the second day, the technical aspects of the assay will be presented. Part of the day will be dedicated to the planning of a real experiment. Trainees will have the opportunity to perform themselves in their own laboratory, with the constant support of the trainers.

On the following days, a hands-on experiment will be performed. In the morning, the daily work will be presented thought videos created at NILU, in which the trainers show how the experiment is performed step-by-step. In this phase, trainees will have the opportunity to interactive live with the trainers, ask questions and discuss the technical aspects of the experiment. In the afternoon, after viewing the videos, trainees will have the possibility to physically train on the experiment in their laboratory. All along, trainers will be available online to support trainees if needed.

Training materials, including the step-by-step videos, will be shared among all project partners and might also form the basis of teaching and training material to be used beyond the project course.

The training’s agenda can be accessed here