INL Cluster

SbDtoolBox - Nanotechnology-based tools and tests for Safer-by- Design nanomaterials

Industrial production of engineered nanomaterials worldwide is estimated to be more than 1,000,000 tons/year and according to the European Union, the expected median annual growth in production is of 5%. However, nanomaterials are also produced in nature, for example, in dusts or volcanic ash. They can also result unintentionally from human activity (e.g. car exhaust, burning candles), or as products of degradation of human engineered materials such as secondary nanoplastics. Due to uncertainties regarding the safety of nanomaterials, it is necessary to develop best practices and facilitate harmonization of assessment practices. However, more research with specific relevance for regulatory questions is still needed, in particular regarding the development of methods for safety testing and risk assessment, and a better availability of quality data on nanomaterials for regulatory purposes.

SdDToolBox will address the current general scarcity of methods and tools to obtain the relevant data encompassing the specific properties that differentiate nanomaterials from chemicals and paying special attention to the differential needs of the diverse impact and application areas, namely health, food or environment. Three types of tools will be developed during the project:

  • analytical methodologies and devices for the identification and quantification of nanomaterials (including nanoplastics) in complex environmental matrix;
  • fit-for-purpose adapted methods for nanotoxicology assessment making use of advanced micro/nanofabrication and microfluidics for lab-on-a-chip devices;
  • in silico models for safe-by-design and life cycle assessment of nanomaterials fed by reliable de novo (eco)toxicology data obtained using the most recently accepted guidelines for the test of nanomaterials. The produced methods, guidelines and devices will help to support the development of new standard operation procedures for the harmonization of the test of nanomaterials safety and provide reliable data for adequate risk assessment and regulatory purposes.

Total Eligible Budget

2,329,021.39 €

INL Eligible Budget

2,329,021.39 €

Total Funding

1,979,668.18 €

INL Funding

1,979,668.18 €

Start Date


End Date


Type of action

SAICT – Projetos estruturados de I&D&I

Grant Agreement Id


Funding Agency




Funding Framework

NORTE 2020

INL Role


Approval Date


Intervention Region

North of Portugal