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 November 2021: Safe Materials from Scratch – Safe-by-Design in Materials Research
Advances in the field of materials science continue to amaze us with nanoscale materials with extraordinary chemical, electrical, optical, and numerous other properties. However, some nanoscale materials have different toxicological profiles compared to the same bulk material. Since safety issues are usually addressed just before launching a product into the market, safety issues may be […]Read more
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 July 2021: The Path to Digital Material Research – It is never too late to start
Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data…. Have you read these words lately? No, these are not just buzzwords. The digitalisation of science is an evolving topic that is gaining importance with each passing day. That is why this month we would like to introduce you to the article “Digital Transformation in Materials Science: A Paradigm […]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