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NanoKTN conference to review impact of nanomaterials on man and the environment

16 August 2011

The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN) will host an event at Begbroke Science Park, Yarnton, Oxford on September 14 2011 to review the possible effects of nanomaterials on man and the environment. The one-day seminar will examine the complex issues surrounding recent advances in the measurement and characterisation of nanomaterials throughout the whole product cycle.

Engineered Nanomaterials can offer significant business opportunities for new and existing products by increasing performance, replacing toxic alternatives and completely displacing inferior and wasteful technologies. A major issue related to this is the potential for accidental and intentional release of nanomaterials that have potentially not undergone enough rigorous testing, leading to human and environmental exposure. Intensive public research and debate has been undertaken in recent years to try to balance this impact with the commercial interest for jobs and growth.
By hosting this event, the NanoKTN aims to bring experts in standards, occupational health, toxicity and ecotoxicity, together with equipment producers and providers of analytical facilities. Networking sessions will provide a forum where experts can discuss the advances and issues in this field, meet and explore business and research opportunities with others, and evaluate testing methods and manufacturing processes. There will also be an opportunity for delegates to see first-hand the capabilities of new technologies in the nanoscale world through a stimulating and exciting exhibition.

Speakers include Dr Alison Crossley, Manager, Oxford Materials Characterisation Services (BegbrokeNano), whose presentation will provide an outline of how we should be approaching the characterisation of nanomaterials. Dr Crossley will focus on inorganic nanoparticles and characterisation protocols which will be discussed along with an overview of the methods for detecting nanoparticles in various matrices.

Dr Patrick Hole, Head of Development, NanoSight, will assess the complete distribution of nanoparticle sizes within a suspension, which is notoriously difficult to carry out. This is especially the case for engineered nanoparticles in the environment which are frequently polydispersed. Dr Hole will describe NanoSight’s Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) technique that sizes nanoparticles in suspension, based on their Brownian motion. Unlike classical light scattering techniques, NTA allows nanoparticles to be sized on a particle-by-particle basis. This results in a higher resolution and therefore a better understanding of aggregation than ensemble methods and it also yields directly a count/concentration measurement.
The event will also see presentations from representatives at Ionbond Limited, LGC, National Physical Laboratory, Naneum, Health & Safety laboratory, SAFENANO, PROSPEcT, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), BioNanoNet and the Universities of Oxford and Birmingham.

“It is essential that appropriate and comprehensive characterisation of nanomaterials are conducted to quantify properties and reduce potential risks when incorporated into real products,” explains Dr James Johnstone, Theme Manager, NanoKTN.
Dr Johnstone continues, “Effective measurement techniques and standardised protocols are beginning to emerge to ensure that fair and equitable solutions can be found to problems associated with policies in this field. The UK is playing a crucial, international role in providing research capabilities and leadership, and this event has been created to highlight recent advances in the measurement and characterisation of nanomaterials, to ensure the UK maintains its central position.”

This event is supported by the Chemistry Innovation and Materials KTNs and the National Measurement Network.
For more information and to register for this event, click here.

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