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Reliable preparation of nanoparticle agglomerates of different sizes in cell culture media



Justin Zook, Robert MacCuspie, John T. Elliott, Elijah Petersen


This special publication is one in a series stemming from the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) Nano-EHS Research Strategy which identified Nanomaterial Measurement Infrastructure as one of the essential areas of research needed in order to develop an effective risk assessment and management plan regarding various aspects of nanotechnology in consumer products as it pertains to human health, exposure and the environment. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was identified as a lead agency in the development of measurement strategies for the robust development to assess the potential effects of engineered nanomaterials and their fate in the environment. One important factor in these measurements is a reliable dispersion procedure. The current guideline presents a method to make nanoparticle agglomerates of different sizes in cell culture medium that can be stable for at least two days. Importantly, this approach allows for different agglomerate size preparations with identical chemical components in the media. Updates to this protocol may be released in the future. Visit to check for revisions of this protocol, or new protocols in the series. We also encourage users to report citations to published work in which this protocol has been applied.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1200-14
Report Number


Zook, J. , MacCuspie, R. , Elliott, J. and Petersen, E. (2015), Reliable preparation of nanoparticle agglomerates of different sizes in cell culture media, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 28, 2024)


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Created June 2, 2015, Updated October 12, 2021