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July 26, 2017

EC Publishes Final Report of Nanocomput Project

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

In July 2017, the European Commission’s (EC) Joint Research Center (JRC) published a report entitled Evaluation of the availability and applicability of computational approaches in the safety assessment of nanomaterials:  Final report of the Nanocomput project.  The main aims of the Nanocomput Project were to review and assess the current status of computational methods that are potentially useful for predicting the properties of engineered nanomaterials to provide advice on the use of these approaches for the purposes of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation.  The Project emphasized quantitative structure-property relationship (QSPR) and quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models, and their potential role in predicting nanomaterial properties.  In addition, the Nanocomput Project assessed the status of a diverse array of compartment-based mathematical models.  These models comprised toxicokinetic, toxicodynamic, in vitro and in vivo dosimetry, and environmental fate models.  The report includes overall conclusions from the Nanocomput Project, including lessons learned in conducting literature reviews and research-based case studies on grouping and read-across.  It offers a number of recommendations intended to overcome current shortcomings in the knowledge of nanomaterial behavior and in the availability of tools (such as databases and predictive models) and practical guidance to use such tools in the regulatory assessment of nanomaterials.