- About Us
- Nano-Social Network
- Nano Consulting
- My Account
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health, is increasing its investment in understanding the potential health, safety and environmental issues related to tiny particles that are used in many everyday products such as sunscreens, cosmetics and electronics. The NIEHS will award about $13 million over a two-year period, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to bolster the NIEH's ongoing research portfolio in the area of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs).
Engineered nanomaterials are very tiny materials about 100,000 times smaller than a single strand of hair. They represent a significant breakthrough in material design and development for industry and consumer products, including stain-resistant clothing, pesticides, tires, and electronics, as well as in medicine for purposes of diagnosis, imaging and drug delivery.
"We currently know very little about nanoscale materials' effect on human health and the environment," said Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., director of the NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program (NTP), an interagency program for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Nanomaterials come in so many shapes and sizes, with each one having different chemical properties and physical and surface characteristics. They are tricky materials to get a handle on. The same properties that make nanomaterials so potentially beneficial in drug delivery and product development are some of the same reasons we need to be cautious about their presence in the environment."
The NIEHS has awarded 13 new two-year grants through the Recovery Act to develop better methods to assess exposure and health effects associated with nanomaterials. Ten of the grants were awarded through the NIH Grand Opportunities program announced in March 2009 (1) and three were funded from the NIH Challenge Grants program. All 13 are aimed at developing reliable tools and approaches to determine the impact on biological systems and health outcomes of engineered materials.
The new awards focus on ensuring that we have reliable and reproducible methods and models to assess exposure, exposure metrics, and biological response to nanomaterials. This research is also essential for the harmonization of research results and forming a scientifically sound basis for hazard assessment, as well as the safe design and development of ENMs.
"There are inconsistencies in the biological effects of ENMs reported in the scientific literature, and a major reason for this is lack of detailed characterization of the physical and chemical properties of the ENMs used in these studies," said Sri Nadadur, Ph.D., program administrator at the NIEHS. "One of our goals is to identify three or four reliable and reproducible test methods using the same ENMs by investigators across different labs."
To accomplish this, the NIEHS brought 36 investigators together on Oct. 20, 2009 in North Carolina, where the NIEHS is headquartered, to identify ENMs, assays and test systems to be utilized in these investigations in a more coordinated and integrated effort.
The NIEHS is establishing an integrated program that will narrow its focus to identify the best methods to evaluate the health effects of nanomaterials through use of cell cultures and animal systems. After the initial meeting, grantees will meet face-to-face twice a year to share information, evaluate progress and determine next steps.
"Recovery Act funds have allowed us to expand our efforts in this important area," said Sally Tinkle, Ph.D., senior science sdvisor at the NIEHS. "We want to be sure that we come away with some better tools to assess the health and safety of nanomaterials." This NIEHS effort focused on nanomaterials supports the goals identified by the National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategy for Nanotechnology-related Environmental, Health, and Safety Research.
In addition to Recovery Act funding, the NIEHS supports grantees across the country working on issues related to nanotechnology. The NIEHS extramural activities are focused on three main areas:
* The application of nanotechnologies in environmental health research through use of nanomaterials to improve measurements of exposure to other environmental factors, enabling research into the biological effects of exposures and improving therapeutic strategies to reverse the harmful effects of environmental exposures.
* Understanding the risks associated with accidental or intentional exposure to nanomaterials.
* Through the Superfund Research Program which authorizes NIH to fund university-based research to conduct the science needed for human health risk assessment and decision-making for remediation of hazardous waste sites, researchers across the country are looking at both the application of nanomaterials for environmental monitoring and remediation, and the health implications associated with their application.
On November 4, 2009, the NIEHS announced a new funding opportunity to address the potential health implications of ENMs. The Request for Applications entitled Engineered Nanomaterials: Linking Physical and Chemical Properties to Biology can be found at grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-ES-09-011.html.
The NIEHS also administers the National Toxicology Program, which is researching the potential human health hazards associated with the manufacture and use of nanomaterials.
The 10 Recovery Act NIH Grand Opportunities grants focusing on engineered nanomaterial safety have been awarded to:
* James Christopher Bonner, North Carolina State University, Raleigh
* Edward David Crandall, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
* Alison Cory Pearson Elder and Gunter Oberdorster, University of Rochester, N.Y.
* Andrij Holian, University of Montana, Missoula
* Andre Elias Nel, University of California, Los Angeles
* Galya Orr, Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Richland, Wash.
* Christopher D. Vulpe, University of California, Berkeley
* Paul K. Westerhoff, Arizona State University, Tempe
* Frank A. Witzmann and Somenath Mitra, Indiana University, Indianapolis
* Robert M. Worden, Michigan State University, East Lansing
The three Recovery Act Nanotechnology NIH Challenge Grants have been awarded to:
* Kent E. Pinkerton, University of California, Davis
* Timothy R. Nurkiewicz, West Virginia University, Morgantown
* Wynne K. Schiffer, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Morgantown, W.Va.
The NIEHS also used Recovery Act funds to support efforts under its Superfund Research Program to determine ways to apply nanotechnology to better detect and evaluate effects on human health, and clean up Superfund chemicals in the environment. The Superfund Worker Education Training Program also provided Recovery Act funding targeting health and safety training.
About National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS),
The NIEHS supports research to understand the effects of the environment on human health and is part of NIH.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
For more information, please click here
Copyright © National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)If you have a comment, please Contact us.
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
|Related News Press|
News and information
“Cysteine Rose” Wins 2016 Thermo Fisher Scientific Electron Microscopy Image Contest: Thermo Fisher honors Andrea Jacassi of the Italian Institute of Technology for image of cysteine crystals using focused ion beam techniques March 27th, 2017
Preparing for Nano
Searching for a nanotech self-organizing principle May 1st, 2016
Nanotechnology is changing everything from medicine to self-healing buildings: Nanotechnology is so small it's measured in billionths of metres, and it is revolutionising every aspect of our lives April 2nd, 2016
Durnham University's DEEPEN project comes to a close September 26th, 2012
Cutting-edge nanotechnologies are breaking into industries November 18th, 2016
STMicroelectronics’ Semiconductor Chips Contribute to Connected Toothbrush from Oral-B That Sees What You Don’t: Microcontroller and Accelerometer help brushers clean their teeth more effectively October 4th, 2016
Particle Works launches range of high quality magnetic nanoparticles August 31st, 2016
Better living through pressure: Functional nanomaterials made easy April 19th, 2017
Nanotubes that build themselves April 14th, 2017
UC researchers use gold coating to control luminescence of nanowires: University of Cincinnati physicists manipulate nanowire semiconductors in pursuit of making electronics smaller, faster and cheaper March 17th, 2017
Wood filter removes toxic dye from water April 21st, 2017
Shedding light on the absorption of light by titanium dioxide April 14th, 2017
ATTOPSEMI Technology Joins FDXcelerator Program to Deliver Advanced Non-Volatile Memory IP to GLOBALFOUNDRIES 22 FDX® Technology Platform: Leading-edge I-fuse™ brings higher reliability, smaller cell size and ease of programmability for consumer, automotive, and IoT applications March 27th, 2017
Promising results obtained with a new electrocatalyst that reduces the need for platinum: Researchers from Aalto University have succeeded in manufacturing electrocatalysts used for storing electric energy with one-hundredth of the amount of platinum that is usually needed March 24th, 2017
'Back to the Future' inspires solar nanotech-powered clothing November 15th, 2016
Stretchy supercapacitors power wearable electronics August 25th, 2016
Better living through pressure: Functional nanomaterials made easy April 19th, 2017
Rare-earths become water-repellent only as they age March 22nd, 2017
Imaging the inner workings of a sodium-metal sulfide battery for first time: Understanding how the structural and chemical makeup of the material changes during the charge/discharge process could help scientists advance battery design for future energy storage needs March 9th, 2017
Programmable materials find strength in molecular repetition May 23rd, 2016
NRL reveals novel uniform coating process of p-ALD April 21st, 2016
New ORNL method could unleash solar power potential March 16th, 2016
Nanoparticle exposure can awaken dormant viruses in the lungs January 17th, 2017
Investigating the impact of natural and manmade nanomaterials on living things: Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology develops tools to assess current and future risk January 9th, 2017