Term Main definition
Primary particles

Nanoparticles, which can affiliate to a bigger linked system (agglomerate, aggregate).

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Synonyms - primary particle
Quantum dot

Crystaline nanoparticle that exhibits size-dependent properties due to quantum confinement effects on the electronic states.
See also ISO/TS 27687:2008 (E), International Organization for Standardization

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Short for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization of Chemicals. REACH is the novel EC regulation no. 1907/2006 that has been in force since June 1, 2007. For further information see

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is regarded as a technique for predicting endpoint information for one substance (target substance), by using data from the same endpoint from (an)other substance(s), (source substance(s)). Read-across must be, in all cases, justified scientifically and documented thoroughly.

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Synonyms - Read-across
Risk quotient

Is calculated from an estimated exposure (PEC), divided by an estimated effect (PNEC). If a value less than 1, then there is an acceptable risk. In contrast, if the RQ greater than 1, there is an unacceptable level of risk and measures to reduce exposure should be taken.

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Synonyms - risk ratio

Short for reactive oxygen species, the organism considering harmful forms of oxygen, which result from oxidative stress.

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Latin secernere - segregate. Release of important substances for the organism (for example hormones, digestive enzymes) by specialised cells, especially glandular cells. The substances themselves are called secretions.

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Settling of particles from liquids influenced by gravity and other forces, e.g. the centrifugal forces generated in a centrifuge. The sedimentation rate is determined by the particle size and density of the material.

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Synonyms - sediments, sediment
Sediments (natural)

Caused by deposition or settling of particles (e.g. sand, suspended solids or organic remains) on land or in waters under the influence of cold, wind and water.

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Abbreviation for Scanning Electron Microscope. A device to study smallest samples by scanning the object using electron beams. The resulting images are detailed illustrations of the object surfaces and have a great depth of field.

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Technical process, in which granular or powdery materials are mixed and then connected to each other by heating. They are baked together (similar to the burning clay or porcelain). The substances are heated to temperatures which are below the melting temperatures of the substance or at least one component of a mixture of substances. This method is used in many nanotechnology application processes.

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Synonyms - sintered
smart textiles

Also called intelligent textiles. They are able to sense stimuli from the environment, to react to them and adapt to them by integration of functionalities in the textile structure. The stimulus and response can have an electrical, thermal, chemical, magnetic or other origin.

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Synonyms - intelligent textiles, wearables

The solubility of a substance indicates whether and to what extent a substance in a solvent (usually a liquid) can be solved. It describes the property of a substance to be evenly mixed with the solvent. Inorganic nanoparticles (mostly metals and metal oxides) decompose into ions. The solubility depends i.a. of temperature and pH of the solution.

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Synonyms - solubilities, dissolution

Short for superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles.

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Auxiliary substances that contribute significantly to obtaining or maintaining a stable condition. This can for example be a certain particle size (preventing the agglomeration), or composition. Commonly used stabilising agents for nanomaterials include citrate, phosphates, or polymers such as polyethylene glycol (PEG).

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Synonyms - stabilization, stabilizing agents, stabilising agents


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