Safer Nanomaterials and Nano Manufacturing

The goals of ONAMI’s Safer Nanomaterials and Nanomanufacturing Initiative (SNNI) are to develop new nanomaterials and nanomanufacturing approaches that offer a high level of performance, yet pose minimal harm to human health or the environment. Research under the Initiative merges the principles of green chemistry and nanomaterials design and synthesis strategies to produce safer nanomaterials and more efficient nanomanufacturing (including critical purification steps) processes in the context of producing nanoparticles and nanostructured materials for applications in fields such as photovoltaics, nanoelectronics, and sensors.

In addition to greening the production of nanomaterials, SNNI seeks to understand the biological and environmental impacts of nanoparticles. As part of an international research community, it is [1] working with organizations to develop reference materials and standard practices, [2] creating well-characterized nanomaterial libraries and [3] developing effective methods protocols for both physico-chemical characterization and biological effects assays for many different types of engineered nanomaterials. Distinctive features of our research portfolio are the critical importance of using only well-characterized nanomaterials and acquiring rich information sets from biological impacts studies. This approach establishes a foundation of fundamental knowledge and advances predictive strategies based upon structure-activity relationships. A long-term commitment to this strategy is required because it is simply not practical to test all significant permutations of nanoparticles (composition, size, shape, surface functionalization, etc.) in bioassays to assess safety.

Professor Jim Hutchison of the University of Oregon leads this initiative that is bringing together key scientists in the life sciences, materials sciences and engineering. Visit the Safer Nanomaterials and Nanomanufacturing website.

Since 2005, SNNI has spearheaded the highly regarded Greener Nano series of annual conferences, with “GN11” coming in the late spring of 2011.

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