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This chapter introduces you to the caNanoLab interface and how to navigate.

Contents of This Chapter

Introduction to caNanoLab

Welcome to the cancer Nanotechnology Laboratory ( caNanoLab is a data sharing portal that supports the international biomedical nanotechnology research community to expedite and validate the use of nanotechnology in biomedicine. caNanoLab provides support to annotate nanomaterials with characterizations resulting from physico-chemical, in vitro, and in vivo assays and share characterizations and associated nanotechnology protocols in a secure environment.

caNanoLab provides support and functionality for the following features:

  • Protocol management – Search, submit, and edit nanotechnology protocols leveraged in performing sample characterization assays
  • Sample management – Search, submit, and edit information on sample formulations including the composition of the sample, results of sample physico-chemical, in vitro, in vivo, and other characterizations, and associated publications
  • Publication management – Search, submit, and edit information on nanotechnology publications including peer reviewed articles, reviews, and other types of reports related to the use of nanotechnology in biomedicine

Supported Browsers

Supported web browsers include Google Chrome (103) and Mozilla Firefox (103) in the PC environment. 

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caNanoLab Public Home Page

When you open caNanoLab, the public home page appears. From that page, any user can search publicly-available protocols, samples, and publications in the caNanoLab database.

caNanoLab Home page

The following table lists what you can do from caNanoLab's public home page.

I want to...How do I...

Perform a search across all types of items

Enter search criteria in the Search box to perform a keyword search across protocols, samples, and publications. The system returns only publicly-accessible items if you are not logged in.Keyword Search on Public home page

Access online help

Click Help or Glossary on any caNanoLab page, or in the Features panel, click FAQ or Online Help.

Open related web sites

Click NCI or External web sites for related information. 

External Site Disclaimer

NIH is not responsible for the availability or content of External sites.
Browse public data

In the Browse caNanoLab panel, click Search Protocols, Search Samples, or Search Publications.

caNanoLab Home page

For details, refer to Managing Protocols in caNanoLab, Managing Samples in caNanoLab, and Managing Publications in caNanoLab.  

Log into caNanoLab

Log in from User Actions. To request a login account, refer to Registering for a caNanoLab Login Account.
Ask a questionReview the How To questions, the Features, FAQ link, or contact
Download caNanoLab

Under What's New, click download. Technical information is included in the Release Notes.

What's New Download link

Review changes to caNanoLab

Under Keeping up with caNanoLab, click What's New with caNanoLab.

What's New link

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Logging In

From the public caNanoLab home page, you can log into caNanoLab under User Actions to save samples, protocols, and publications and share them with collaboration groups and other users. If you do not have an account, you need to register for one first.

Registering for a caNanoLab Login Account

If you do not have a caNanoLab login account and want to save items in caNanoLab, contact You will be assigned a user role that affects what actions you can perform in caNanoLab and sent a Login ID and password.

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Logging Into caNanoLab

To log into caNanoLab

  1. From User Actions on the home page, enter your Login ID.
  2. Enter your caNanoLab Password.


    If you forget your password, contact

  3. Click Login. Refresh the page. 

    The bottom left of the caNanoLab home page displays your login and user role information. The Associated Groups are your user role(s), for example, Public and Curator, and any collaboration group(s), for example, This is a sample, to which you are assigned.

    Login information

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Resetting Your Password

If you forget or need to reset your caNanoLab password, contact

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Log Out Warning Due to Inactivity

If caNanoLab is inactive for 25 minutes, a warning appears that you will be logged off in five minutes. If you click OK, you remain logged in for another 30 minutes. If you do not click OK within five minutes, you are logged off.

The warning does not appear if you are actively clicking links. If you are only scrolling on a page or moving your mouse, the warning appears after 25 minutes.

caNanoLab User Roles

When you are given caNanoLab login credentials, you will be assigned the Public role by default. Researcher, curator, and admin roles are also available. The following table describes the differences between these user roles.

User RoleActions and Access

The Public user role is assigned to all caNanoLab users. A logged in Public user can

  • Search for and view all publicly-available samples, protocols, and publications and access any items shared with the user.
  • Create, update, and share the Public user's own samples, protocols, and publications with user(s) and collaboration group(s).

    Submit and Review

    To make a sample, protocol, or publication public, a Public user must submit the item for review first.

(and also Public)

A logged in Researcher can

  • Search for and view all samples, protocols, and publications and access any items shared with the Researcher. 
  • Create, update, and share the Researcher's own samples, protocols, and publications with user(s) and collaboration group(s).

    Submit and Review

    To make a sample, protocol, or publication public, a Researcher must submit the item for review first.


(and also Public and Researcher)

Once logged in, you can

  • Search for and have Read-Write-Delete access to all samples, protocols, and publications in caNanoLab.
  • Annotate a sample.
  • Create, update, share, and make samples, protocols, and publications publicly-accessible.

  • Access Groups to manage collaboration groups.
  • Access Curation to review items for public access, and perform sample batch data metrics tasks.
  • Access Results to review batch data results.


Once logged in, you can

  • Access Admin to add and update user accounts and reset passwords. 
  • Perform task that a Public user can do.

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caNanoLab Home Page (After Login)

Once you log into caNanoLab, the caNanoLab home page opens.

Visibility of options

When you log in, the options available to you depend on your caNanoLab user role and permissions. 

caNanoLab menus

Menu Options

The following table lists and describes each caNanoLab menu.

Menu Options



Returns to the home page.


Presents a workflow graphic with active links to access caNanoLab functions.


Search for existing protocols, create a new protocol, and submit a protocol for review for public access.


Search for existing samples, create a new sample, and submit a sample for review for public access.

When you add a sample, three options display in the Navigation Tree:



Search for sample publications, create a new publication, or submit a publication for review for public access.


Create and manage collaboration groups which allow researchers to share data among members of the group. 

  • Curators can manage all collaboration groups and view a list of samples assigned to each group.
  • If you do not have the curator role, you can manage only your own collaboration groups. 

Curator only: Review items pending public release and generate sample data metrics in a batch.

ResultsCurator only: Appears after you perform a batch process.
My Workspace

Review the samples, protocols, and publications that you saved or are associated with your log in.

My FavoritesReview the samples, protocols, and publications that you bookmarked for easy access.
AdminAdmin only: Add and edit users, and reset user passwords.


Login or out of caNanoLab.

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Using the Workflow to Get Started

If you are new to caNanoLab or just need a refresher about accessing the right option, click the caNanoLab Workflow menu. The Workflow illustrates caNanoLab functionality and the process to follow. Active links are provided for directly navigating to the appropriate function based on your authorization level. We also provide a caNanoLab Data Submission Video and accompanying transcript to assist you in getting started.

From Submit to Create

We no longer use the terms "submission" or "submit" when adding protocols, samples, and publications to caNanoLab. The options are now Create Protocols, Create Samples, and Create Publications.
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