How do nanoparticles interact with the environment and with humans over time?

May 14 15:05 2019 Print This Article

I meant to get this piece published sooner but good intentions don’t get you far.

At Northwestern University, scientists have researched the impact engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) might have as they enter the food chain. An October 18, 2019 Northwestern University news release (also on EurekAlert) by Megan Fellman describes research on an investigation of ENPs and their interaction with living organisms,

Personal electronic devices — smartphones, computers, TVs, tablets, screens of all kinds — are a significant and growing source of the world’s electronic waste. Many of these products use nanomaterials, but little is known about how these modern materials and their tiny particles interact with the environment and living things.

Now a research team of Northwestern University chemists and colleagues from the national Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology has discovered that when certain coated nanoparticles interact with living organisms it results in new properties that cause the nanoparticles to become sticky. Fragmented lipid coronas form on the particles, causing them to stick together and grow into long kelp-like strands. Nanoparticles with 5-nanometer diameters form long structures that are microns in size in solution. The impact on cells is not known.

Read More

About Article Author

Frogheart

FrogHeart provides commentary about nanotech, science policy and communication, society, and the arts. Run by Maryse de la Giroday, a science communications consultant and writer, FrogHeart is one of the largest independent scince blogs in Canada. Since the websites launch in 1994, Giroday's list of clients includes Océ NV, Telgate Systems, Nortel Networks, Redback Systems, Forintek, Gretag AG, Inetco Systems, and Creo Products (which later became part of Kodak). She has also taught in SFU’s Writing and Communications Program. Giroday earned a Bachelor's degree in Communications from Simon Fraser University in 1992 and a Masters in Creative Writing and New Media from De Montford University in Leicester, UK.

  Categories:

Related Items

A Café Scientifique Vancouver (Canada) May 28, 2019 talk ‘Getting to the heart of Mars with insight’ and an update on Baba Brinkman (former Vancouverite) and his science raps

It’s been a while since I’ve received any notices about upcoming talks from the local Café Scientifique crowd but on May 22, 2019 there was this announcement in an email, Dear Café Scientifiquers, Our next café will happen on TUESDAY, MAY 28TH [2019] at 7:30PM in the back room at YAGGER’ ...

First, Climate Change, Now the Global Extinction Crisis: Industry-Paid Hacks Deny Science to Congress

Read time: 5 mins In this week’s Congressional hearing on the recent (and dire) UN Global Assessment of Biodiversity, conservation scientist Dr. Jacob Malcom did not mince words as he explained the report's startling findings that one million species are at risk of extinction. “We are, as ...

Bendable phones that are partially organic

It’s been about nine  or 10 years since I first heard about bendable phones (my September 29, 2010 posting). The concept keeps popping up from time to time (my April 25, 2017 posting) and this time, we have Australian scientists to thank for this latest work described in an October 5, 2018 news ...

It's time to change the way we think about parliaments where no party has a majority

Karl Nerenberg Smart politicians avoid speculating about what they might do in the case of different possible election outcomes, and for good reason. When former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff allowed himself to be lured into a bit of speculation during the 2011 campaign, he got into big troubl ...

Canada-wide digital health platform receives $49 million from federal government

The Digital Health and Discovery Platform (DHDP), a network that aims to establish a Canada-wide health data platform, has received a $49 million grant from the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “The time to harness the power of AI is now so that we continue to augment Ca ...

LG and University of Toronto expand AI research partnership

LG is expanding its artificial intelligence research investment in the University of Toronto (U of T) to focus on business-to-business applications. “The extensive joint research with LG will secure research capacity, nurture top artificial intelligence experts and add practical values.” Some ...

Government of Ontario Supports Freshwater Research and Education

The Government of Ontario is providing more than $2 million in funding to the International Institute for Sustainable Development Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA), which will help protect Ontario’s freshwater ecosystems. The funding was announced May 21, 2019 by Greg Rickford, Ontario’s minis ...

The Foundation of Canada’s Digital Charter: Privacy Law Reform Focused on a Data-Driven Economy

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced plans last week for a new Canadian digital charter featuring penalties for social media companies that fail to combat online extremism. While the just-released proposed charter does indeed envision increased regulation of the tech sector, my Globe and Mail op ...

Wearable electronic textiles from the UK, India, and Canada: two different carbon materials

It seems wearable electronic textiles may be getting nearer to the marketplace. I have three research items (two teams working with graphene and one working with carbon nanotubes) that appeared on my various feeds within two days of each other. UK/China This research study is the result of a colla ...

ENGIE North America Inc. – Operation and Control Engineer (Markham, ON)

PurposeOperation and Control Engineer is responsible for supporting Engie North America’s IT and Operations Technology Engineering team the ongoing support of our Canadian renewable energy which consist of 13 generation assets coast to coast in Canada including a mix of Wind, Solar generation ass ...