Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Nanomaterials database improved to help consumers, scientists track products: Database restructured to improve functionality, add scientific credibility

Nina Quadros, a research scientist at Virginia Tech's Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science, said researchers added scientific significance to the nanomaterials database.

Credit: Virginia Tech
Nina Quadros, a research scientist at Virginia Tech's Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science, said researchers added scientific significance to the nanomaterials database.

Credit: Virginia Tech

Abstract:
Nanomaterials are the heart of the smaller, better electronics developed during the last decade, as well as new materials, medical diagnostics and therapeutics, energy storage, and clean water. However, exposure to nanomaterials may have unintended consequences for human health and the environment.

Nanomaterials database improved to help consumers, scientists track products: Database restructured to improve functionality, add scientific credibility

Blacksburg, VA | Posted on October 28th, 2013

As a resource for consumers, scientists, and policy makers, the Virginia Tech Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology (VTSuN) has joined the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars to renew and expand the Nanotechnology Consumer Product Inventory, an important source of information about products using nanomaterials.

"We want people to appreciate the revolution, such as in electronics and medicine. But we also want them to be informed," said Nina Quadros, a research scientist at Virginia Tech's Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science and associate director of VTSuN, who leads a team of Virginia Tech faculty members and students on this project. Todd Kuiken, senior program associate, and David Rajeski, director of the science and technology innovation program, lead this project at the Wilson Center.

The Wilson Center and the Project on Emerging Nanotechnology created the inventory in 2005. It grew from 54 to more than 1,000 products, many of which have come and gone. The inventory became the most frequently cited resource, showcasing the widespread applications of nanotechnology. However, in 2009, the project was no longer funded.

"I used it in publications and presentations when talking about all the ways nano is part of people's lives in consumer products," said Matthew Hull, who manages the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science's investment portfolio in nanoscale science and engineering, which includes VTSuN. "But the inventory was criticized by researchers, regulators, and manufacturers for the lack of scientific information available to support product claims."

In a meeting with his friend, Andrew Maynard, director of the University of Michigan Risk Science Center, who had initiated the inventory when he was at the Wilson Center, Hull proposed leveraging Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science and VTSuN resources to improve the inventory.

"My role was to ask 'what if' and VTSuN ran with it," said Hull.

A partnership was formed and, with funding from the Virginia Tech institute, VTSuN restructured the inventory to improve the reliability, functionality, and scientific credibility of the database.

"Specifically, we added scientific significance and usefulness by including qualitative and quantitative descriptors for the products and the nanomaterials contained in these products, such as size, concentration, and potential exposure routes," said Quadros.

For example, an intentional exposure route would be the way a medicine is administered. An unintentional exposure would be when a child chews on a toy that has been treated with silver nanoparticles that are used as an antimicrobial.

The potential health effect of nanomaterials on children was Quadros doctoral research and she used the inventory to find products designed for children that use nanomaterials, such as plush toys.

"One of the best things about the new version of the inventory is the additional information and the ability to search by product type or the type of nanomaterial," she said. "When researchers were first attempting to assess the potential environmental impacts of nanotechnology, one main challenge was understanding how these nanomaterials might end up in the environment in the first place. After searching the CPI and seeing the vast applications of nanotechnologies in consumer products it was easier to narrow down scenarios."

For example, Quadros said many silver nanoparticles are used in clothing for antimicrobial protection, so we can infer that some silver nanoparticles may end up in wastewater treatment plants after clothes washing. This helped justify some of the research on the effects of silver nanoparticle in the biological wastewater treatment processes. Currently, the inventory lists 188 products under the 'clothing' category."

This team also included published scientific data related to those products, where available, and developed a metric to assess the reliability of the data on each inventory entry.

The team interviewed more than 50 nanotechnology experts with more than 350 combined years of experience in nanotechnology, Quadros said. "Their answers provided valuable guidance to help us address diverse stakeholder needs."

In addition, the site's users can log in and add information based on their own expertise. "Anyone can suggest edits. The curator and reviewer will approve the edits, and then the new information will go live," Quadros said.

"We've added the horsepower of VTSuN, but opened it by means of crowdsourcing to new information, such as refuting or supporting claims made about products," Hull said.

"The goal of this work is to create a living, growing inventory for the exchange of accurate information on nano­enabled consumer products," Quadros said. "Improved information sharing will allow citizens, manufacturers, scientists, policymakers, and others to better understand how nanotechnology is being used in the consumer marketplace," she said.

The inventory currently lists more than 1,600 consumer products that claim to contain nanotechnology or have been found to contain nanomaterials.

Quadros will give a presentation about the inventory on Monday, Nov. 4, at the Second Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization Conference in Santa Barbara and will present to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation in the spring.

###

Key collaborators at Virginia Tech are Sean McGinnis, an associate research professor in the materials science and engineering department; Linsey Marr, professor of civil and environmental engineering; and her postdoc, Eric Vejerano, who was instrumental in development of product categories; and Michael Hochella, a university distinguished professor in the geosciences department and VTSuN director.

By Susan Trulove

####

About Virginia Tech
VT SuN is an interdisciplinary research center focused on advancing nanoscale science and engineering research and education with an emphasis on sustainability. The center develops nanoscale technologies and leverages these technologies to help remedy global sustainability challenges in areas such as clean air and water, waste minimization, environmental remediation, food safety, and renewable energy.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
John Pastor

540-231-5646

Copyright © Virginia Tech

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.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Eric Berger Wins the National Space Society's 2017 Space Pioneer Award for Mass Media January 19th, 2017

Nanometrics to Announce Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results on February 7, 2017 January 19th, 2017

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Products

STMicroelectronics Peps Up Booming Social-Fitness Scene with Smart Motion Sensors for Better Accuracy, Longer Battery Life, and Faster Time to Market January 2nd, 2017

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

Nanomedicine

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

New active filaments mimic biology to transport nano-cargo: A new design for a fully biocompatible motility engine transports colloidal particles faster than diffusion with active filaments January 11th, 2017

Keystone Nano Announces FDA Approval Of Investigational New Drug Application For Ceramide NanoLiposome For The Improved Treatment Of Cancer January 10th, 2017

Captured on video: DNA nanotubes build a bridge between 2 molecular posts: Research may lead to new lines of direct communication with cells January 9th, 2017

Announcements

Eric Berger Wins the National Space Society's 2017 Space Pioneer Award for Mass Media January 19th, 2017

Nanometrics to Announce Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results on February 7, 2017 January 19th, 2017

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Environment

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

PCATDES Starts Field Testing of Photocatalytic Reactors in South East Asia December 28th, 2016

Advance in intense pulsed light sintering opens door to improved electronics manufacturing December 23rd, 2016

Carbon dots dash toward 'green' recycling role: Rice scientists, colleagues use doped graphene quantum dots to reduce carbon dioxide to fuel December 18th, 2016

Energy

Dressing a metal in various colors: DGIST research developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials January 17th, 2017

Stability challenge in perovskite solar cell technology: New research reveals intrinsic instability issues of iodine-containing perovskite solar cells December 26th, 2016

Nanoscale 'conversations' create complex, multi-layered structures: New technique leverages controlled interactions across surfaces to create self-assembled materials with unprecedented complexity December 22nd, 2016

Safe and inexpensive hydrogen production as a future energy source: Osaka University researchers develop efficient 'green' hydrogen production system that operates at room temperature in air December 21st, 2016

Water

Scientists have discovered a new state of matter for water January 2nd, 2017

PCATDES Starts Field Testing of Photocatalytic Reactors in South East Asia December 28th, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Water, water -- the two types of liquid water: Understanding water's behavior could help with Alzheimer's research November 11th, 2016

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

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

First time physicists observed and quantified tiny nanoparticle crossing lipid membrane November 7th, 2016

SUN shares its latest achievements during the 3rd Annual Project Meeting November 1st, 2016

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

Nanoscale view of energy storage January 16th, 2017

One step closer to reality: Devices that convert heat into electricity: Composite material yields 10 times -- or higher -- voltage output January 4th, 2017

STMicroelectronics Peps Up Booming Social-Fitness Scene with Smart Motion Sensors for Better Accuracy, Longer Battery Life, and Faster Time to Market January 2nd, 2017

Researchers produced nitrogen doped bimodal cellular structure activated carbon December 29th, 2016

Events/Classes

Nanometrics to Announce Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results on February 7, 2017 January 19th, 2017

Harris & Harris Group Issues Reminder for Shareholder Update Call on January 10, 2017 January 10th, 2017

Nanometrics to Present at the 19th Annual Needham Growth Conference December 22nd, 2016

Imec and Holst Centre Introduce World’s First Solid-State Multi-Ion Sensor for Internet-of-Things Applications December 13th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project