‘Nanosafety 2017’ conference in the media

October 2017

Experts discuss how nanoparticles affect organisms and how to make them safe to use

Are nanoparticels harmless or can they play a role in the development of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or asthma? How do nanoparticels end up in organisms and in the environment? How can we produce nanoparticles that combine save use and the desired properties for industrial applications? Which are the legal frameworks necessary to achieve this? Those and other questions are discussed by international experts at this years Nanosafety. The conference takes place in Saarbrücken from 11 to 13 October 2017.

On 11 October the scientists will discuss possible environmental effects of nanoparticles. A model will be presented that allows estimations of the nanoparticles or nanomaterials impacts on the environment. Different aspects, such as life cycle, transport and transformation are considered. Further, the so-called safe-by-design principle is discussed: the risk of nanoparticles is to be minimized already during the production process. Methods for detection, characterization and verification of safety of nanoparticels are presented by the experts. ‘Many everyday products contain nanoparticles. Examples are protective coatings on your laptop, glasses or ID cards, touch screens, sunscreen, and medical products. We aim for the best possible use of the nanoparticles; that is why the safe-by-design prinziple is of such great importance.’ explains Annette Kraegeloh, coordinator of the Leibniz Research Alliance Nanosafety.

Further, the researchers look into possibilities of employing EU-wide standardized methods to evaluate nanoparticle effects.

The question that stands central on 12 October is if certain nanoparticles can be detrimental to nervous tissues. The complex question of neurotoxicity is approached by using different models that mimic living organisms and that are thought to replace animal tests in the future. The experts of the Leibniz Research Association Nanosafety from France, Switzerland and USA are for instance assessing if and how nanoparticles made of manganese or diesel exhaust particles can affect organs. Other of the day’s subjects are the presentation of nanoparticle-fabrication methods and the imaging of cell-particle interactions.

On 13 October a series of presentations on effects and mechanisms of action of various nanoparticles is closing the conference. One topic will for instance be how nanoparticles act in case of pre-existing health issues.

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