Our research

 

POTENTIAL HAZARDS

One goal of the research program is to contribute to an integrated development of generic methods and models, validated by experimental findings to underpin risk assessments, particle- and material flow analyses and life-cycle assessments of nanotechnology. These assessments need to be understandable and acceptable for societal actors facing the challenge to evaluate potential hazards to likewise potential benefits. So the natural science and technology studies are linked to the social science studies by the risk assessment and societal flow studies performed.

The image below demonstrates our integrated approach to studying the distribution and hazard assessment of nanoparticles in fresh water environments, including, in magnifying glasses 1 and 2, the distribution and fate of the particles (aggregation, molecular adsorption, dissolution, etc), and in magnifying glasses 2 and 3, uptake and eco-toxicological effect on a range of aquatic organisms at various trophic levels, leading up to the effects on human cell lines. Certain studies are performed in real environments (e.g. collection and detection of nanoparticles in road runoff and stream beds), while the majority of nanoparticle testing is done in laboratory-based test models that aim to mimic natural environments and ecosystems.

 

                             

Three main questions, as shown in the image above, corresponding to these three stages of the environmental fate of nanoparticles emitted into the aquatic environment, are addressed here in this report for the case of tungsten carbide nanoparticles worn down from studded snow tires (Case study 1) and for silica nanoparticles intentionally produced and used in a variety of commercial products, such as paint (Case study 2):

1. How are nanoparticles emitted into the aquatic environment?

2. What happens to the nanoparticles when they are emitted into the aquatic environment?

3. How toxic are the nanoparticles to the relevant organisms at different levels of the food chain?

Read more in our Annual report 2017 about how life in water is affected by nanoparticles from tire studs and how life in water is affected by silica nanoparticles, as well as our outreach activities during the year.

 

FIVE WORK PACKAGES WITH DIFFERENT TASKS

The program is divided into five work packages (WP), each with different scientific tasks and focus. The work packages examine different stages of the life cycle of nanoparticles throughout the technosphere, the environment and in society, reflecting the integrated approach taken towards risk assessment and risk perception of nanomaterials in this consortium.

WORK PACKAGE 1: EXPOSURE, FATE AND LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENTS

...will provide new insights on flows and transformations of nanomaterials through the technosphere, their release into the biosphere and the fate of the nanomaterials in the environment.

Work Package Leaders: Martin Hässellöv, Inger Odnevall-Wallinder

Read more: Results so far

 

WORK PACKAGE 2: THE IMPORTANCE OF THE NANOMATERIAL SURFACE

...will give new understanding on how the formation of a primary corona of environmental organic material on nanoparticles influences subsequent interactions between nanoparticles and organisms and biomolecules.

Work Package Leader: Tommy Cedervall

Read more: Results so far

 

WORK PACKAGE 3: INTEGRATED HAZARD ASSESSMENTS

...will provide specific details on the relation between physico-chemical properties and the environmental hazards of selected nanoparticles, but will also broaden the scope of such QSAR-analyses with respect to biological complexity.

Work Package Leaders: Thomas Backhaus, Bengt Fadeel

Read more: Results so far

WORK PACKAGE 4: SOCIAL DIMENSIONS OF NANOSAFETY

...will provide new insights regarding perceptions of societal actors including industry, government, experts, and non-government organisations regarding potential risks and benefits of nanotechnology.

Work Package Leaders: Åsa Boholm, Sverker Molander

Read more: Results so far

WORK PACKAGE 5: NANOTECHNOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS TO ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS

...will target the design of novel silica nanoproducts aimed for environmental applications. The synthesis of tracker-silica nanoparticles is proposed to allow detection of silicia nanoparticles under environmentally and biologically relevant conditions.

Work Package Leader: Michael Persson

Read more: Results so far

Have a question?

Phone 
+46 31-772 10 00

Email
info@mistraenvironmentalnanosafety.org

Contact information

Mistra Environmental Nanosafety

www.mistraenvironmentalnanosafety.org

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.