The European Commission’s new Action Plan for a Circular Economy Green Deal, the new European Industrial Strategy as well as the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability presented in October 2020 are ambitious plans to achieve a sustainable, fair and inclusive economy in the European Union. These strategies require that any new material or product must not only be functional and cost-efficient, but also safe and sustainable.
Nanotechnology is one of the technologies that could enable such green growth. This paper focuses on nanomaterials that actively respond to external stimuli, so-called “smart nanomaterials”. They are part of the broader category of “advanced materials”. It shows that smart nanomaterials and related products may pose new challenges for safety and sustainability assessment due to their complexity and dynamic behaviour. Innovators, scientists and authorities are called upon to further develop and promote the concept of “Safe and Sustainable-by-Design” in nanotechnology.
Gottardo, S., et al., Towards safe and sustainable innovation in nanotechnology: State-of-play for smart nanomaterials. NanoImpact, 2021. 21: p. 100297.
Spotlight October 2020: Nanosafety – Topic of the Future
Research on nanosafety is a driver of innovation as the spotlight in July has demonstrated. But furthermore, this research field is built on routine as well if researchers look for the “needle in the haystack”. In many areas the safety research initiates the development of new methods, e.g. for the determination of nanoparticles within exposed organisms via […]Read more
Spotlight April 2021: Nanomaterials and Fake News – a commentary based on an example
In February 2021, the article “The invisible killer lurking in our consumer products” appeared, describing nanoparticles as a greater danger than Corona . “The use of nanomaterials” would be “unregulated” and “nanomaterials are so small that they cannot be determined once they are part of a product”. So what is the truth of these statements? […]Read more
Spotlight March 2021: Is Nanotechnology the Swiss Army Knife against Future Pandemics?
The COVID 19 outbreak has led to a fundamental rethinking of existing approaches to diagnosis, treatment, and prevention methods. The need for better and more efficient concepts is global and urgent. Nanotechnology has long been at the forefront of innovation and has led to advances in many different disciplines. Could this interdisciplinary field help develop […]Read more
Spotlight Juli 2020: “Nanosafety – More than just regulatory processes”
Nanosafety is more than just a compulsory aspect of nanomaterials research and regulation. This research area also has great potential to drive new innovations. It is exactly this perspective that is addressed in the special issue “Rethinking Nanosafety: Harnessing Progress and Driving Innovation” by Chen et al. 2020. The article illustrates that especially in the field of […]Read more