Official website:

Project duration: January 2012 – December 2013

Austrian project coordinator: Walter Gössler, Ao.Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr., Institute of Chemistry – Analytical Chemistry, Karl-Franzens University, Austria

Croatian project coordinator: Dr. sc. Ivana Vinković Vrček, Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Zagreb, Croatia 

Granted by: OeAD-MZOS granting scheme

Project Partners:

Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Zagreb, Croatia 

Institute of Chemistry – Analytical Chemistry, Karl-Franzens University, Austria


Research and development in the area of new nanomaterials are seen as having an enormous economic potential for new drugs and medical treatments, electronics, environmental remediation, surface treatments, etc. The metallic silver nanoparticles are most promising as they show good antibacterial properties. The current investigations support that use of silver ion or metallic silver as well as silver nanoparticles can be exploited in medicine for burn and wound treatment, in cosmetic and textile industry, for water treatment, etc.

Experience from other contaminants and their release to the environment leads to the need for more information on the fate of nanomaterials in the environment and a discussion of technology development from a preventative point of view. As the size of a particle approaches nanoscale, so the properties of the material dramatically change due to a huge increase in the percentage of atoms at the particle’s surface. Therefore, the size of a particle and its differentiation from ionic metal form are key parameters to be determined when attempting to predict the fate, and potential toxicological impact, of engineered nanoparticles released into the environment. In order to understand these impacts, it is essential to have an understanding of the inputs, fate and transport of silver ions and silver nanoparicles in biological systems, which in turn requires robust and sensitive analytical methods. Therefore, the aim of this project is focused on development of spectrometry based method to enable separation of silver nanoparticles from ionic silver in different matrices. When chromatographic technique is interfaced to a multi-element detector like ICPMS, the combined technique allows investigations into the behavior and fate of a range of inorganic silver NP’s in ‘real-world’ situations. In addition, the methods developed within this work will be validated and analytical figures of merit will be determined to evaluate the suitability for routine applications.

This proposed project is directly related to recommendation of the opinion of EFSA Scientific Committee, adopted on 10 February 2009. The proposed project will also contribute to strengthening scientific and technological cooperation between the Croatia and Austria.