A toolbox-set of Nanoparticles

V. Jamier, E. Casal, V. Puntes
Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology, ES

Keywords: nanoparticles, safety, sustainability


The development of nanotechnology has increased exponentially over the past decades with numerous nanoparticles (NPs) offering a “toolbox-set” ready to be used in a wide range of applications such as materials science, catalysis, medicine, energy and remediation. In many case, those application relies on their unique size, morphology and structure, which determines not only their properties but also their reactivity. While there is an urge to determinate if the benefit of nanoparticles is worst the risk and therefore to establish adequate, repeatable and standardized nanotoxicology, the use of well-defined material (and persistent synthesis protocoles) to establish real structure–property and structure–activity relationships is of importance for further industrial applications. When investigating the impact of NPs on biological or material systems, it is important to understand that a change in size and shape often leads to a change in surface state. The Centre for NanoBioSafety and Sustainability is currently developing such “nanoparticles-toolbox” of well-designed shape/size/surface/inner-shell NPs from the 1st generation to the 5th generation of NPs (Figure). Finally, during investigation on NPs and their development at the industrial level it is important to consider their full life-cycle because their shape, size, structure may be altered, as well as their reactivity.