caNanoLab FAQ

caNanoLab General

caNanoLab Functionality

caNanoLab General

What is caNanoLab?
The cancer Nanotechnology Laboratory portal (caNanoLab) is a portal designed to facilitate data sharing in the research community to expedite and validate the use of nanoparticles in biomedicine. caNanoLab provides support for the annotation of nanoparticles with characterizations resulting from physical and in vitro nanoparticle assays and the sharing of these characterizations and associated nanotechnology protocols in a secure fashion. Additional information on caNanoLab is available on the caNanoLab Wiki.

Who developed caNanoLab?
caNanoLab was developed as a collaboration between the NCI Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT), the NCI Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL), and the NCI Cancer Centers of Nanotechnology Excellence (CCNEs). CCNEs actively involved in the caNanoLab effort include Washington University, Stanford, Emory/Georgia Tech, and MIT.

What is the caNanoLab operational environment?
caNanoLab was designed to operate in a standalone and federated environment. Organizations deploying caNanoLab install caNanoLab locally and connect to the caBIG grid (caGrid) for information sharing across the research community. Organizations that do not have local facilities can contact NCI CBIIT Application Support to request access to the NCI caNanoLab system for data submission and retrieval.

Does caNanoLab leverage any existing standards for describing nanoparticles and associated characterizations?
Standards supporting nanotechnology in the biomedical domain are emerging and under continuous development. caNanoLab leverages and extends concepts from existing standards developed by the biomedical and nanotechnology community. caNanoLab leverages biomedical and nanotechnology concepts from the NCI's Enterprise Vocabulary Services (EVS) and the Nanoparticle Ontology (NPO) developed by Washington University. The caNanoLab team works with the biomedical nanotechnology community to identify and define concepts identified during use case analysis. New concepts are maintained in the NCI Thesaurus.

Where can I find definitions for caNanoLab concepts?
Definitions to caNanoLab concepts are available in the caNanoLab glossary and through the NCI Thesaurus. The caNanoLab glossary is included in the download package and made available to users through the caNanoLab portal.
How much does caNanoLab cost?
caNanoLab is open source software developed under the NCI caBIG initiative and open source license. caNanoLab is available for download via the caNanoLab Project Site.


caNanoLab Functionality

What functionality does caNanoLab Support?
caNanoLab allows researchers to submit and retrieve information on nanoparticles and associated information including:

caNanoLab provides secure access to data and requires authentication and authorization for access to non-public data.

How do you enter nanoparticle characterizations?
caNanoLab allows users to upload characterization files and submit data values through controlled metadata as well as uncontrolled metadata. All data values are entered as derived datum.

For example, to submit a Z-Average Size of 120 nm for a nanoparticle, the user would:

  1. Submit the nanoparticle sample
  2. Select to add the Size characterization from the Physical Characterization Navigation Tree item
  3. Complete required summary fields including characterization source and descriptive title
  4. Select to add Derived Bioassay Data (optional)
  5. Select to upload a file (optional)
  6. Select to add Derived Datum (optional)

Uncontrolled metadata can be submitted by selecting Other in any of the pull-down lists and entering the new term in the popup window.

Note, a user must have privileges to submit data to see the Add feature. Detailed information on submitting characterization data is available from the caNanoLab portal via the caNanoLab help link.