Skip to main content

Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory

Eliminating suffering and death from cancer requires an unprecedented collaborative effort that leverages resources from government, industry, and academia. Working in concert with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) established the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL) to provide preclinical characterization and safety testing of nanoparticles.

The NCL serves as a national resource and knowledge base for all cancer researchers to facilitate development and clinical translation of nanotechnologies intended as cancer therapeutics and diagnostics. By providing the critical infrastructure and characterization services to nanomaterial providers, the NCL accelerates the transition of basic nanoscale particles and devices into clinical applications.

There are multiple ways the NCL can help nanotech researchers and developers advance their technology, including characterization, reformulation, optimization, lead selection, method development, and more.

  • Assay Cascade Characterization Service

    The NCL provides a free preclinical characterization service to developers of oncology-based nanoformulations, to aid their development process and translation to clinical trials. Characterization includes physicochemical, immunology, pharmacology and toxicology studies.

  • cCRADA Collaborations - Tailored Solutions for Nano-related R&D

    cCRADA collaborations provide tailored solutions for an investigator’s nanotechnology-related development needs. Typical projects include nanotech formulation, characterization of non-oncology nanomaterials, mechanistic studies, method development, and more.

  • Technical Services

    Technical services are pre-defined statements of work for select NCL assays, with a fixed cost for each service. NCL provides two technical services, both based on the Stable Isotope Tracer Ultrafiltration Assay (SITUA) –an analytical method invented at NCL that can measure key nanomedicine fractions in plasma.

  • Protocols and Capabilities

    The NCL has developed a standardized analytical cascade that performs physicochemical characterization as well as preclinical testing of the immunology, pharmacology and toxicology properties of nanomaterials. The data generated can be used in regulatory filings, in publications, and to garner interest from investors.

  • About NCL

    The NCL was founded in 2004 in collaboration with FDA and NIST, as a public-private partnership to advance the science needed to expedite the development of promising nanotech therapies and diagnostics. The NCL has tested more than 450 unique nanomaterials and worked with more than 125 investigators worldwide.