Comparing Approaches to the Description of Nanomaterials

This post comes from John Rumble, chair of the CODATA Working Group on the Description of Nanomaterials, and Egon Willighagen, of Maastricht University and the eNanoMapper Project.

UDS CoverThe CODATA Working Group (WG) on Nanomaterials held a small workshop with members of the eNanoMapper (  team at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, on 13-14 July, 2015. The purpose of the meeting was to clarify and compare approaches to the description of nanomaterials, specifically the  CODATA WG’s Uniform Description System for Materials on the Nanoscale  (UDS) ( and the eNanoMapper Ontology, as  described in Journal of Biomedical Semantics (2015) (

At the workshop, all major UDS information categories, subcategories, and descriptors were reviewed in detailed and compared to the eNanoMapper ontology. Several issues were identified as requiring revision, including better description of measurement methods used to characterize aspects such as size, shape, and size distribution, the role of topology, and differentiating among different types of nanomaterial stability. The results of this workshop will be combined with recommendations made at a similar workshop held at the Universities at Shady Grove in the United States on10-11 June 2015, to guide revision of version 1.0 of the UDS. The next version should be available in early September and will include downloadable tables and sources of definitions, when applicable.

s13326-015-0005-5-2Immediately following the Maastricht workshop, CODATA WG representatives met at the Quality Nano Conference held in Crete. Of particular interest was the description of coatings and coronas for individual nano-objects, especially with respect to their reproducibility (or randomness) and predictability.

For further information about the CODATA Nanomaterials WG, please contact John Rumble at For further information about eNanoMapper, please contact Egon Willighagen at