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image representing ISA-TAB-Nano Extension - Study, Investigation, Assay, Material

Click here for ISA-TAB-Nano OVERVIEW PRESENTATION - a great place to start!

ISA-TAB-Nano Paper: BMC Biotechnology 2013, 13:2 Published: 14 January 2013

Commentary Nature Nanotechnology 2013, 8, 73-74 Published: 5 February 2013

ISA-TAB-Nano: A Click for each File type template: Investigation | Study | Material | Assay

See each File pages for more information and links to examples and glossaries.


This standard (ISA-TAB-Nano) specifies the format for representing and sharing information about nanomaterials, small molecules and biological specimens along with their assay characterization data (including metadata, and summary data) using spreadsheet or TAB-delimited files.


Familiarity with the fields of nanotechnology and nanomedicine is a prerequisite for this specification. An understanding of ISA-TAB is recommended but not required as the ISA-TAB-Nano specification provides descriptive information on ISA-TAB as applied to nanotechnology.


The current version of ISA-TAB-Nano is Version 1.1 (June 2013).

ISA-TAB-Nano Introduction


The field of nanomedicine faces many challenges in the development of standards to support meaningful data submission and information exchange. Nanomaterial characterization requires numerous physico-chemical, in-vitro, and in-vivo assays where measurements mostly depend on non-standardized protocols and diverse technology types. Unfortunately, information describing the nanomaterial, including functionalizing entities and three-dimensional (3D) structure, is often represented in an undisciplined fashion. In addition, there has been no standard way to associate this information with the data and metadata from characterization studies This lack of standardization has been a significant deterrent to meaningful data sharing across the nanotechnology community; few publications contain sufficient information to enable adequate interpretation of results and successful achievement of experimental reproducibility. Furthermore, there has been very limited success in using non-standardized data to represent or derive structure-activity-relationships (SARs) that are critical for understanding the effects of nanomaterial structure on biological activity in nanomedicine.