Session 2: eNanoMapper

eNanoMapper - A Database and Ontology Framework for Nanomaterials Design and Safety Assessment

Barry Hardy, Phd


Douglas Connect, Zeiningen, Switzerland


Managing Director


Barry Hardy (Douglas Connect, Switzerland), Egon L. Willighagen (Maastricht University, The Netherlands), Janna Hastings (European Bioinformatics Institute, UK), Markus Hegi and Lucian Farcal (Douglas Connect, Switzerland), Nina Jeliazkova (Ideaconsult, Bulgaria), Haralambos Sarimveis (NTUA, Greece)




1. Jeliazkova, N., Doganis, P., Fadeel, B., Grafstrom, R., Hastings, J., Jeliazkov, V., Kohonen, P., Munteanu, C. R., Sarimveis, H., Smeets, B., Tsiliki, G., Vorgrimmler, D., Willighagen, E., Nov. 2014. The first eNanoMapper prototype: A substance database to support safe-by-design. In: Bioinformatics and Biomedicine (BIBM), 2014 IEEE International Conference on. IEEE, pp. 1-9.
2. Hastings, J., Jeliazkova, N., Owen, G., Tsiliki, G., Munteanu, C. R., Steinbeck, C., Willighagen, E., Mar. 2015. eNanoMapper: harnessing ontologies to enable data integration for nanomaterial risk assessment. Journal of Biomedical Semantics 6 (1), 10+.


The eNanoMapper EU FP7 project is developing a data management and analysis infrastructure together with ontologies supporting the safety assessment activities of the European nanomaterials research and development community. The project addresses the requirements of safety assessment of nanomaterials by providing databases, analysis tools and ontologies for risk assessment and linking them with existing resources in this area.

The work involves close cooperation with the EC NanoSafety Cluster members and other international organisations such as the EC JRC, and the EU-US NanoEHS cooperation initiative. Their requirements guide the development of tools for experimental design, model building, systems biology, and meta analysis across multiple datasets.

An ontology for nanosafety research is being developed to provide the following features: annotation of nanostructures and relevant biological properties, annotation of experimental model systems (e.g. cell lines), conditions, and protocols, complex search and reasoning capabilities, and the integration of data from existing nanotoxicology sources.

Systematic physicochemical, geometrical, structural, and biological studies of nanomaterials are rare in the public domain and data sharing is only just commencing, given the absence of readily available solutions for that purpose. eNanomapper will address that issue, as the establishment of a universal standardisation schema and infrastructure for nanomaterials safety assessment is a key goal of the project. It will catalyze collaboration, integrated analysis, and discoveries from data organised within a knowledge-based framework. It will support the discovery of nanomaterial properties responsible for toxicity, the identification of toxicity pathways and nano-bio interactions from linked datasets, ontologies, omics data and external data sources.

By interfacing with statistical and data mining tools, eNanoMapper aims to provide scientifically sound guidelines for experimental design as well as computational models for predicting nanotoxicity. These computational models will help to design safe nanomaterials and improve the risk assessment of existing nanoparticles.

This presentation will provide an overview of the progress made in the initial 18 months of the project, including outlines of the initial development releases of the data platform [1] and ontology [2].