Purpose of the project

  • Build a repository of curated nanomaterial information by systematically archiving data from a broad collection of publicly available nanomaterial resources.
  • Deliver authoritative and useable information on the interactions of well-characterized nanomaterials in biological and environmental systems via a public website.
  • Provide tools for searching and viewing data.
  • Improve the quality of nanomaterial information by driving standards of accepted procedures and reporting requirements.
  • Promote the use of a well-defined minimal information about nanomaterials (MIAN) framework and of common nanomaterial standards.
  • Identify reliable information about nanomaterials that can be used in regulatory decision making.

A Central Community Tool

The Nanomaterial Registry has been built through the collaboration of representatives from various nanomaterial community stakeholder groups, including regulatory, industry, academia, and standards organizations. Developments made during this project requiring stakeholder consensus included the following:

  • the MIAN used for the curation of nanomaterial data,
  • the controlled vocabulary by which curated data are confined,
  • the compliance level algorithms and weighting factors used to communicate data quality and quantity, and
  • the data model used to organize data and metadata within each record.

Registry Data

The Registry team curates data from a variety of data sources, including public databases, manufacturers, regulatory and standards agencies, published literature, and data partners. Please visit the Data Sources page for the list of current Registry sources. The scope of these data is broad and includes characterization and biological and environmental studies on nanomaterials.

Data are archived in the Registry via a curation process. RTI curators use a controlled vocabulary and the MIAN, in conjunction with a curation interface, to archive data records. As a part of this process, records go through quality assurance (QA)/quality control (QC) before being included in the publicly available database.

The Registry is an ever-expanding resource and will continue to identify, vet, and curate new data sources. New records are being curated daily and will become available on a regular basis.

Leadership Team

Dr. Anthony Hickey – Principal Investigator
Dr. Hickey is currently a Distinguished Fellow at RTI International. He is also an Emeritus Professor of Molecular Pharmaceutics with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is the founder and former president and chief executive officer of Cirrus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a contract pharmaceutical services company. Dr. Hickey has extensive qualifications and training in biochemistry, microbiology, toxicology, and pharmaceutics (physical pharmacy and dosage form design). His specific scientific areas of expertise include pulmonary biology, aerosol physics, powder dynamics, pharmacokinetics and drug disposition, formulation design, and device development. Dr. Hickey applies his skills in these areas to pulmonary drug and vaccine delivery studies and to elucidate further the physiology, pharmacology, and immunology of the lungs.

Dr. Alexander Tropsha – Principal Consultant – UNC Research Website
Dr. Tropsha currently directs a research lab with ca. 12 full-time employees (res. faculty, postdocs, grad. students) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Historically, his research has focused on computational drug discovery, computational toxicology, cheminformatics, and structural bioinformatics, with the emphasis on methodology development and experimentally testable hypothesis generation. His research has had a major impact in the areas of QSAR modeling and its applications to drug discovery and environmental safety prediction. In recent years he and his lab group have begun to explore the power of cheminformatics approaches as applied to modeling of materials and nanomaterials. His group published the pioneering papers on Quantitative Nanostructure – Activity Relationships (QNAR). Dr. Tropsha’s expertise in computational modeling and rational design will help to realize our mission to bring knowledge out of the body of curated data in the Registry.

Ms. Karmann Mills – Project Manager
Ms. Mills is a Research Engineer in the Center for Aerosol and Nanomaterial Engineering at RTI and has 9 years of research experience. As the project manager, she has led several key collaborations with the nanoinformatics and nanotechnology community, including nanomanufacturing groups, academic research centers, and domestic and international efforts to advance the field of nanotechnology. During her time in nanomaterials research, Ms. Mills has developed new technologies with polymeric nanofiber composites in the fields of advanced lighting, filtration and smart cement.

Project Officer

James Luo, PhD, Program Director, Extramural Science Program, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

Project funding is provided by:

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)


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