Small and Safe is a project about nanosafety with the goal to make a standard for the management of nanotechnology. By connecting different actors in the field, the project aims to increase the knowledge about the character of nanomaterials and how it affects biological things. Through this knowledge, a standard for the management of nanomaterials can be developed.
Nanotechnology simply means the use of nanomaterials, which is materials composed of very small particles. The word nano comes from the Greek word for dwarf, and has given name to a length scale that is very very small. One nanometer is one millionth of a millimeter, roughly equivalent to 80,000 to 100,000 times smaller than a human hair. One special characteristics about working with materials on the nano-scale is that the laws of physics seldom apply which makes traditional materials change properties. Within nanotechnology, it is possible to control and manipulate these nanomaterials, which can result in many new functions and features.
Nanotechnology is a developing technology that is of interest for many different fields of research, for example molecular biology, computer science, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, mechanics, etc. It is predicted that nanotechnology will provide a new paradigm shift in the technological development and will be applicable for all sectors in society. However, as for all new technologies, the potentials and effects need to be further evaluated. Knowledge about the life cycle of nanomaterials, how it reacts with biological things and effects for future generations is not yet sufficient. The management of nanotechnology needs to be developed, so that the possibilities with the technology can be attained in a secure way
This is the background for the project Small and Safe. The project aims to connect different actors who work with nanotechnology and develop a standard for the management of nanomaterials. Through the project, LU Open hopes to get more knowledge about nanomaterials’ effect on humans and the environment which will contribute to the further development of the field, in a secure and sustainable way.
LU Open is the project leader for Small and Safe together with Tommy Cedervall, Associate Professor Biochemistry and Structural Biology.