Progress beyond the state-of-the-art
At the moment several databases relevant for ENM toxicity assessment exist, some of them were created with the participation of eNanoMapper consortium members. The NanoSafety Cluster alone has many projects with database generating activities, transferring information on topics including aquatic bioactivity, exposure-dose-response data, human and ecology hazard, life cycle assessment, and bio-distribution.
Several angles on the nanotechnology community posing different requirements on the ontology. Ontologies are structured controlled vocabularies enhanced with explicit formal relationships between entities in support of advanced automated reasoning for inference and error detection. The JRC Nanohub and the REACH registration database are based on IUCLID 5, the IT system used for preparation and submission of REACH dossiers.
eNanoMapper at a Glance
The development of a community agreed ontology and matching data warehouse requires detailed expertise in various domains: nanotechnology, community building, IT skills, and strong modelling and analysis background. Even within each of those domains, the knowledge required is extensive. Yet, we have assembled a consortium with 8 partners with this expertise, who have a strong track record of working together to solve problems and resolve conflicts in similar situations of technology development supporting scientific communities.
The system is operational way beyond the finite time period covered by this FP7 project. This sustainability involved many aspects, ranging from architectural, infrastructure, hosting related, and human resources. All of this requires funding. These aspects will be addressed properly and professionally from the onset of the project to ensure that once the project completed it is sustainable, expandable and well managed. That way we can ensure continued servicing of the ENM community beyond this single project, other than providing the platform source code and ontology up for download.
The eNanoMapper framework will provide the necessary infrastructure for inter-laboratory comparison and testing, by allowing experimentalists from different laboratories to register experimental values and uncertainty information, annotated as of which protocol was used when the experiment was conducted, which laboratory generated them and other meta-information, following the ISA-TAB-nano format for representing and sharing information about ENMs description and characterisation.
Computational and visualization tools (e.g. z-score and zeta-score histograms) will also be developed and provided through the framework for planning and analyzing inter-laboratory tests in order to determine certified property values for reference and tested ENMs, validate the reliability and reproducibility of measurement methods following the ISO5725 standards, and assess the performance of individual laboratories, according to the ISO13528.