Nanomaterials in consumer products are usually embedded in organic or polymeric matrices that need to be removed or separated to allow us identify and measure the materials. Extraction techniques can vary depending on the particle composition: for example acid resistant particles, such as titanium dioxide (TiO2) and silicon dioxide (SiO2) can be isolated using more aggressive methods, allowing for complete removal of the matrix. 

Matrix digestion using strong chemicals for resistant particles

Some nanomaterials show substantial resistance to strong chemical conditions. The matrix containing these nanomaterials can be completely eliminated, leaving the materials themselves intact.

Particle precipitation to help purification of stable solutions

In specific cases, some particles are contained in solutions with high concentrations of polymers/surfactants to improve stability. These solutions can be purified using precipitation methods.

Filtration cleaning of particles and size separation

Filtration is a well-known method to help separate different sized particles at different scales that can also be implemented at the nanoscale.

Enzymatic digestions for sensitive particles

When nanomaterials are sensitive to the alteration of the surrounding media, less aggressive methods are required to identify particles properly.