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 to perform preclinical efficacy and toxicity testing of nanoparticles.
The NCL serves as a national resource and knowledge base for all cancer researchers to facilitate the regulatory review of nanotechnologies intended for cancer therapies 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, thereby reducing suffering and death from cancer.
As part of its assay cascade, the NCL characterizes nanoparticles' physical attributes, their in vitro biological properties, and their in vivo compatibility using animal models. The time required to characterize nanomaterials from receipt through the in vivo phase is approximately one year.
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National Cancer Institute