Enabling a Sustainable Harmonised Knowledge Infrastructure supporting Nano Environmental and Health Safety Assessment

24 October 2016

Enabling a Sustainable Harmonised Knowledge Infrastructure supporting Nano Environmental and Health Safety Assessment

EU-US nanoEHS workshop on the Enabling a Sustainable Harmonised Knowledge Infrastructure supporting Nano Environmental and Health Safety Assessment was organized in Beuggen Castle, Rheinfelden, Germany.

The workshop's main objective was to facilitate networking, knowledge sharing and idea development on the requirements and implementation of a sustainable knowledge infrastructure for NanoEHS. This infrastructure should support the needs required by different stakeholders including researchers, industry, regulators, workers and consumers. The detailed information on the workshop can be found at this address: http://www.nanoehs-workshop.eu/

The workshop was chaired by Dr. Barry Hardy (Coordinator of eNanoMapper). Dr Lisa Friedersdorf (National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, USA) provided the opening remarks followed by presentations and discussions under different sessions: 1. Information Needs of Stakeholders & Applications, 2. US-EU perspectives, initiatives and progress, and 3.  Knowledge Infrastructure Solutions. The presentations were given by Dr. Juan Riego Sintes (European Commission - Joint Research Centre, Italy), Peter Ritchie (Institute of Occupational Medicine, UK), Dr. John Rumble (R&R Data Services, USA), Assoc. Prof. Stacey Harper (Oregon State University, USA), Dr. Andrea Haase (German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment), Berna Windischbaur (Austrian Research Promotion Agency), Dr. Stephanie Morris (National Institutes of Health, USA), Prof. Iseult Lynch (University of Birmingham, UK) and Dr. Barry Hardy (Douglas Connect GmbH, Switzerland).

The presentations were followed by two interactive Knowledge Café sessions. The participants were able to use an interactive web tool (https://summit.enanomapper.net/), in order to access specific resources, and actively contribute to the discussions by adding new content, comments and answers related to the session topics. The presentations are also available at the above-mentioned link.

The objective of the first session on “Read-across and data completeness” led by Dr. Frederick Klaessig (Pennsylvania Bio Nano Systems, USA), was to broaden awareness of data completeness while fostering best practices within the US-EU communities. The participants discussed the data requirements and gaps for read-across applicability with nanomaterials, the concepts of data completeness from the recent nanoWG series of papers and the use of current templates to guide data collection. Zeta potential was used as a case study, with a focus on data taken for the NM-series and related materials. The participants surveyed several aspects and then discussed the relative merits of isoelectric point versus zeta potential for identifying coatings on particles, current templates and requirements on pH values for zeta potential measurements, solubility, data quality scores and the need for minimum ontology for coated particles that drives the testing and metadata. Overall, the importance of guidance on the purpose, tools and interpretations of zeta potential and other p-chem parameters was explored.

The second session on “Nano Ontologies”, was led by Dr. Egon Willighagen (Maastricht University, The Netherlands). eNanoMapper and other initiatives have developed a substantial ontology to be used in nanotechnology and safety assessment. This ontology can be used for harmonization purposes, ensuring a common description and reporting format. Based on the case study interaction and discussions, the participants evaluated how the ontology is supporting the scientific and regulatory needs, what the gaps are and further actions. Guided by a detailed tutorial, the participants were able to browse the eNanoMapper ontology, use the ontology in searching on http://search.data.enanomapper.net, and finally evaluate the appropriateness of the eNanoMapper ontology by filling an evaluation survey.

Enanomapper hosted a roundtable discussion on 25 October on the US EU Roadmap Nanoinformatics, led by Dr. Andrea Haase. This roadmap is jointly developed in trustful cooperation among US, European and Canadian scientists of different scientific backgrounds working in the field of nanotechnology to address the following objectives: i) Foster community interactions and giving support to different stakeholders, ii) Capture, preservation and dissemination of all publically-available NM measurement data, iii) Facilitating the use of existing data and iv) Identify specific pilot projects in relation to the describe objectives.

The day continued with the Nano Modelling workshop, where two applications developed within eNanoMapper project were demonstrated. All participants had the possibility to use and test the tools, and also to discuss and give feedback to the developers. Details on this workhop including the materials used for the practical exercises can be found at this address: http://www.enanomapper.net/events/nano-modelling-workshop

The first demonstration on “Extracting knowledge from data using the JaqPot Modelling Tool” was led by Philip Doganis and Georgios Drakakis (National Technical University of Athens). The exercise offered hands-on work on the development of nanoQSAR models based on data available from the eNanoMapper database (https://data.enanomapper.net/), making use of the eNanoMapper computational infrastructure from National Technical University of Athens that extends the OpenTox API. The focus was on the use case of predicting cell association of metal oxide nanoparticles, based on publically available experimental data. Participants went through the workflow of constructing a model from a dataset drawn from the eNanoMapper database into the Jaqpot platform, getting predictions based on the model and evaluating its efficiency through model validation. Finally, users worked on the creation of predictive models using statistical and machine learning algorithms.

The second demonstration on “Nanomaterial read across predictions with nano-lazar” was led by Christoph Helma (In silico toxicology GmbH, Switzerland). The exercise included a presentation of the lazar read across framework, the adjustments of the application for nanoparticles, data requirements, comparison of algorithms and descriptors and exercises on gold and silver nanoparticles.


These events were co-organized and sponsored by eNanoMapper, BILAT USA 4.0 and OpenTox projects.

For more information: http://nanoehs-workshop.eu/

For presentations: https://summit.enanomapper.net/resources/?type=presentation

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