Nanosafety 2020 – international nanosafety experts discussed during three-day virtual conference

Nanosafety 2020 is a conference dedicated to developments in the interdisciplinary field of the safety of nanomaterials. The conference was organised by Leibniz Research Alliance Nanosafety in cooperation with the research group of Prof. Santamaria Nanostructured Films & Particles at the University of Zaragoza, Spain, and INM – Leibniz- Institute for New Materials, Saarbrücken, Germany. First organised in 2013, it has been running for the 3rd time this year and was supposed to be held in Zaragoza… until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Instead, the conference was organized as a virtual event.

Running from 5th – 7th October, Nanosafety 2020 had all components a physical conference: sessions with a mix of invited and contributing speakers, discussions, workshops, and a poster session. Speakers and participants joined from 33 countries on 5 continents and included representatives from research institutions and industry.

The effect of particles on health and the environment was one of the key topics of this year’s conference. Different aspects were presented by, among others, Christian Laforsch (“Microplastics in the environment”), Mark Miller (“Cardiovascular effects of nanoparticles”) and Anne Kahru (“Cost-efficient toolbox for evaluation of biological effects of nanomaterials: case-studies, challenges and outlook”).

Another highlight was a workshop on the challenges and needs for the digitisation in nanosafety research to reach a continuous digital workflow. Experts shared their experiences with standard operating procedures (SOPs) and the use of electronic lab notebooks (ELNs) and gave an overview on the current status of databases (eNanoMapper).

Recent findings in the development of safe nanomaterials and toxicological aspects of nanomaterials were shared and discussed in multiple sessions and the poster session over the three days the conference was ongoing.

A short report in the local news can be seen here (in German): https://www.sr-mediathek.de/index.php?seite=7&id=93506 – from min: 26:13.

While the nanosafety-community has always been an international one, the virtual format of the conference enabled participants and speakers from all over world to easily join talks and lifely discussions with speakers and participants – without restrictions in time, money or entrance visa. Most talks and the poster presentations are still available online for registered participants until 18 December 2020, in case they attended from a different time zone and missed the life sessions.

We thank all our attendees, speakers and media partners for joining us virtually this year. We hope you found the event as enjoyable and insightful as we did.