Outreach activities during 2017

During 2017, participants in the Mistra Environmental Nanosafety program organized various events both within and outside of the program. They were seen in the media, at conferences, workshops and in courses. Below is a description of various outreach activities from the year.

Video: What does a nanoparticle look like?

Events organized

The MISTRA Nanomaterials Characterization Workshop, Sven Lovén Marine Research Center, Kristineberg, Fiskebäckskil, Nov 15-16, 2017. Researchers in the program arranged a workshop about how to characterize nanoparticles in environmental samples. Professor Martin Hässellöv, University of Gothenburg, hosted the workshop,and participants included teachers, researchers and doctoral students from the MISTRA Environmental Nanosafety program as well as other research programs. Workshop participants participated in lectures describing the theory behind the most promising techniques and sample preparation methods for the characterization of nanomaterials.

The workshop involved hands-on analysis of one model sample – an environmental sample spiked with gold nanoparticles. The participants got to use a variety of state-of-the-art analytical techniques, including Automated electron microscopy with EDS analysis, Single particle ICP-MS, and various light scattering methods, including DLS, NTA and DCS. They could compare and contrast the nature of the data obtained from the different analytical methods.

Swedish Nanosafety Conference “From Research to Regulation” March 28, 2017. The Mistra Environmental Nanosafety program co-organzied together with the Swedish National Nanosafety Platform (SweNanoSafe), Swedish NANoREG, and the Swedish Chemicals Agency, a Nanosafety Conference on the topic “From research to regulation” on March 28, 2017 at the World Trade Center in Stockholm, with invited speakers from the EU-funded FP7-NANOREG project as well as several presentations from the Mistra Environmental Nanosafety project.


Facebook and a new Communications Officer. In December 2017, Mistra Environmental Nanosafety opened a Facebook page to improve the outreach. Several films from meetings with the program scientists were posted on Facebook. A film from the workshop in Kristineberg was also published on the program's Facebook page.

A new communications officer, Anna Wallin Adersjö, was employed from August 2017 with an increased time commitment to the program. Anna focused on improving and updating the website during the fall.

MEN social science study results highlighted on GRI homepage. Åsa Boholm’s group at University of Gothenburg had their research results published on the homepage of the Gothenburg Research Institute, University of Gothenburg. An interview with MEN researcher Simon Larsson and his recently published MEN research findings were highlighted. The research article, in Swedish only, was titled “Nanomaterialens risker och regleringar”.

Chalmers website highlights recent publication on nanoparticle diversity. Christoph Langhammar and his research group at Chalmers University of Technology were highlighted on the Chalmers website because of their recent publication in the journal Nature Communications, where they developed a method that makes it possible to map the individual responses of nanoparticles in different situations and contexts. While this work was performed outside of the Mistra Environmental Nanosafety program, the results pave the way for better nanomaterials and safer nanotechnology.

Bengt Fadeel, Karolinska Institutet, was interviewed by the online news site, arbetsmiljoforskning.se, on the potential risks health risks of nanomaterials, in particular in the occupational setting. He pointed out that scientists also need to be mindful of the potential risks of exposure to nanomaterials. For instance, in the laboratory, they should not handle nanomaterials in powder-form on the lab bench. Instead, this is always done in a so-called glove box, i.e., a closed compartment in order to minimize exposure.

Plastic nanoparticles found in fish brains. Tommy Cedervall’s group at Lund University was one of the most visible MEN researchers in the media during the year, with over 80 short articles in newspapers around the world about their finding of plastic nanoparticles in fish brains. Although that particular study was not financed through the Mistra Environmental Nanosafety program, the finding is about plastic nanoparticles is highly relevant to our program.

– Often journalists are more interested in the material than in the size. In our case plastics. The challenge is to explain why size is important and that different sources of pollutants can provide various sizes of the material, says Tommy Cedervall.


Tommy Cederwall explains briefly the main findings of the nanoplastic research study in this TV-program at SVT Nyheter (Swedish television). 

In the interviews, Tommy Cedervall describes the same test models used in the Mistra Environmental Nanosafety program to study SiO2 and WC nanoparticles. The model system is introducing nanoparticles up the food chain. First, algae is fed nanoparticles, then the researchers give the algae to zooplankton, then they feed the zooplankton to fish. They track the fish behaviour and compare to fish that have been feed with polystyrene-free zooplankton. They study shows changes in fish hunting behaviour, movement, changes in fish brains, and detection of polystyrene nanoparticles in the brain tissue.

Tommy Cedervall’s group has also held several lectures for the public about nanoplastics.

– Part of these lectures always explain the important aspects of nano-sized material as pollutants. In many of them we have told the audience about our results with tungsten carbide and tungsten carbide cobalt, mimicking the nanomaterial that can be released from the studs in winter tyres, says Tommy Cedervall.


Conference Presentations


At the Swedish Nanosafety Conference “From Research to Regulation” March 28, 2017, the Mistra Environmental Nanosafety program was presented by Joachim Sturve, University of Gothenburg, followed by the following program presentations:

Expert stakeholders’ understanding of risks and benefits of nanotechnology: challenges for regulation, Åsa Boholm, University of Gothenburg

Environmental nanosafety research: where do we stand, where do we (need to) go?, Thomas Backhaus, University of Gothenburg

Is nanotechnology good for the environment? A life cycle perspective, Rickard Arvidsson, Chalmers University of Technology

The Frontiers in Silica Worskhop 2017, March 16-17, 2017 Chalmers University of Technology was organized by MEN Work Package Leader Michael Persson, AkzoNobel and Chalmers University of Technology. The Mistra Environmental Nanosafety gave the following presentation at the conference:

Size characterization of nanoparticles in colloidal silica using CLS and ES-DMA

Björn Stolpe, AkzoNobel

The Mistra Environmental Nanosafety program was presented by Program Manager Julie Gold in a booth at the “Speakers Corner” during The Swedish Water Management Conference, 16–17 May 2017, Gothenburg. The theme for 2017 was " From Source to Sea " with a focus on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Doctoral student Anna Furberg, Chalmers University of Technology, participated in the 8th International Conference on Life Cycle Management (LCM 2017) on Sept 3-6, 2017 in Luxembourg. She gave an oral presentation of her MEN results with the title ”Do Tire Studs in Cars Save or Take Lives? A Life Cycle Assessment on Human Health Impacts”.

An oral presentation of MEN results titled “Risk, benefit and regulation: Swedish Expert stakeholders’ understanding of engineered nanomaterials and nanotechnology” was given at the Society for Risk Analysis Europe’s conference in Lissabon, June 2017 by Researcher Simon Larsson, Gothenburg Research Institute, University of Gothenburg,

Post doc Andreas Godikas, Sven Lovèn Marine Research Center, University of Gothenburg, held an oral presentation of MEN results titled “Tungsten carbide particles as a test case for fate analysis and tracking of nanomaterials in the environment” at the 12th International Conference on the Environmental Effects of Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials (ICEENN 2017), September 3 – 6, 2017, Birmingham, United Kingdom.



The Mistra Environmental Nanosafety program and some of its results were incorporated within several Master’s level courses at KTH by Work Package Leader Inger Odnevall Wallinder and her research group, including:

KE2350 Risk Analysis and Management for Chemical Engineers

KD2380 Corrosion and Surface Protection

KD2170 Nanostrukturerade material.

Workpackage Leader Bengt Fadeel, Karolinska Institutet, organized a 1-week graduate course on nanotoxicology at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm on 18-22 September 2017, titled “Nanotoxicology - potential risks of engineered nanomaterials to human health and the environment” (1.5 ECTS credits). Lectures on ecotoxicology of nanomaterials and life cycle assessment were given by researchers from the Mistra Environmental Nanosafety program.


Additional outreach activities and achievements by MEN researchers

MISTRA Environmental Nanosafety involvement in SweNanoSafe – The Swedish National Platform For Nanosafety. Partners of the MISTRA Environmental Nanosafety program are actively engaged in the new National Platform for Nanosafety (SweNanoSafe, http://swenanosafe.se/) hosted by SweTox and funded by the Ministry of Environment and Energy. The platform compiles and disseminates knowledge about nanosafety in cooperation with authorities, researchers, industry and other organizations. Prof. Bengt Fadeel (Karolinska Institutet) is Chair of the Scientific Expert Panel of the National Platform for Nanosafety (SweNanoSafe) and is also a member of the Steering Committee for the National Platform. Additionally, Assistant Professor Rickard Arvidsson and Associate Professor Joachim Sturve are members of the Scientific Expert Panel.

Theatre/exhibition/workshop “The Sixth Continent”. In Lund, Mistra Environmental Nanosafety researchers Tommy Cedervall and Mikael Ekvall participated in an exhibition, a theatre play and educational talks where they described the effects of nanoplastics to school students. This combined theatre/exhibition/workshop titled “The Sixth Continent” was produced and performed in Folkparken, Lund, together with the theatre company “Teater Sagohuset”. The purpose was to inform students, aged 7 to 19 years old, about plastics in the ocean and the effect of plastics on wildlife. The workshops were arranged by the Chemical Centre in Lund and were visited by around 300 students.

“Rising Star of Environmental Nanosciences Award 2017, in memory of Prof. Steve Klaine “ was awarded to Mistra Environmental Nanosaftey Post doc Andreas Gondikas, Sven Lovèn Marine Research Center, University of Gothenburg during the ICEENN 2017 conference.

Licentiate thesis, Sulena Prahan, KTH. Mistra Environmental Nanosafety program doctoral student Sulena Prahan, KTH, held her open licentiate seminar on Sept 21, 2017 on “Surface reactivity, stability, and mobility of metal nanoparticles in aqueous solutions: Influence of natural organic matter and implications on particle dispersion preparation”.

Publication of an overview of nanosafety research in the Swedish Medical Journal “Läkartidningen”, as part of a thematic issue on Nantechnology and Nanomedicine, by Work Package Leader Bengt Fadeel, Karolinska Institutet. In the article, he touched on several aspects that researchers are addressing in the Mistra Environmental Nanosafety project, including the potential role of the so-called biocorona for adverse health and/or environmental effects of engineered nanomaterials. He also gave an interview for “Läkartidningen” on the same topic.

Organization of 1-day workshop on “Delivering Safe Nanotechnology to Market” at the EURONANOFORUM in Malta in June 2017 by Bengt Fadeel, Karolinska Institutet (www.euronanoforum2017.eu). The purpose of this event was to showcase EU-funded nanosafety research and to foster a dialogue between different nano-sector players from the European Commission, regulatory authorities, large and small companies, and research centres and universities. This was on behalf of the EU Nanosafety Cluster, a forum for EU-funded nanosafety projects.


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