Glossary

Term Main definition
Crystal structure

Describes the regular arrangement of atoms or molecules in a crystal lattice. Different lattice structures of the same material (e.g. titanium dioxide) give nanoparticles different chemical and physical properties (e.g. photocatalytic activity).

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Cytoplasm

Is referred to as the entire living content of a cell, which is enclosed to the outside by the cell membrane.

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Cytosol

Also intracellular fluid or cytoplasmic matrix; cytosol is referred to as the liquid components of the cytoplasm of cells. The cytosol consists of water and therein dissolved ions, small molecules and larger water-soluble molecules, such as proteins.

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Deposition

To deposit, marks the deposit of solid, liquid and gaseous particles in the organism.

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Synonyms - deposited
Diffusion

Physical process leading to the mixing of different gaseous, liquid or solid substances theat are in contact with each other.

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Synonyms - diffuse
Dispersion

From Latin dispersus - dispersal. In chemistry: mixing of two substances that cannot dissolve each other completely or react with each other completely.
In physics: dependence of the propagation of waves on wavelength. Example: Decomposition of white light into light of different colours by a prism.

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Doping

Materials that are impurified during production with small parts of another material (intentional impurification) are referred to as doped materials. Such traces of other elements can decisively affect the properties of a material, as, for example, is the case with different types of steel. In nanoparticles, individual atoms can be replaced by other atoms.

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Synonyms - doped, doted
Dose

Term for the amount of a substance, which acts within a specific time or to a specific organism (see also LD50). In toxicity testing of nanoparticles, dose information, such as number of particles/cell or µg particles/cm2 surface area are used.

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EC50

Short for effective concentration, concentration of a substance that causes the half maximal effect of an observed effect.

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Ecosystem

From Greek oikós - house and sýstema - the connected one. An ecosystem describes the association of a habitat (e.g. a forest) with the community of several very different species (plants, animals, microorganisms) living there.

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Synonyms - Eco system
Electrolyte

Greek for electron - amber and lytikós - soluble, a chemical compound that contains mobile ions, which move under the influence of a directional electric field thus generating electrical conductivity of the solution.

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Electron microscopy

Is a method for representing very small structures. By using an electron beam instead of light significantly better resolution of about 0.1 nm is achieved, so this type of microscopy often used to detect nanoparticles in cells. The two distinctions are TEM and SEM.

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Elemental ratio

Describes the elemental ratio for a substance consisting of two or more different chemical elements. For some nanomaterials, this specific ratio can be used to identify the nanomaterials in complex samples like in the environment.

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Synonyms - Element ratio
Endocytosis

Greek for éndon - inside and kytos - a cell, denotes the inclusion of foreign material (microorganisms, particles or solutes) into the cell through invagination and pinching off of portions of the cell membrane with the formation of a vesicle.

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Endogenous

Describes processes originating or being produced within an organism, tissue, or cell.

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