The nanoparticle-scope: a new integrated instrument for accurate and reproducible physico-chemical characterization of nanoparticles

Funding and duration

  • European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme, Research and Innovation action
  • Grant agreement n° 720964
  • January 2017 – December 2020


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consortium npscope


Project goal

The npSCOPE project will deliver an instrument that couples the extraordinarily high resolution of the recently commercialised helium-ion microscope with sensors for composition (a mass spectrometer) and 3D visualisation (transmitted ion detector). The aim is to more fully characterise individual nanoparticles and their interaction with their biological environments (water, soil, body fluid, human cells and tissue, etc.), and to better understand the risks they might pose to human health or the environment. The new integrated microscopy tool will be adapted specifically for the purpose of providing quick and concise analyses of nanoparticular material that can even be embedded in complex and biological matrices.


The role of VITO is to demonstrate the performance of the npSCOPE instrument for several cases of nanoparticle interactions with biological species that are relevant to the assessment of nanoparticles’ health risk.

Our expert

Inge Nelissen

+32 14 33 52 11