ZnO is a widely used material in cosmetics and food applications. The ions however, that are leaching have been linked to potential adverse effects. In our center we developed a safer formulation concept to mitigate toxicity by encapsulating the materials in a thin layer of Silica.

Safer Nanotechnology

The likely success or failure of the nanotechnology industry depends on the environmental health and safety of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). While efforts toward engineering safer ENMs are sparse, such efforts are considered crucial to the sustainability of the nanotech industry. In our center we developed new approaches that make nanotechnology and its application safer for the user and the environment. A promising approach in this regard is to coat potentially toxic nanomaterials with a biologically inert layer of amorphous SiO2. Core−shell particles exhibit the surface properties of their amorphous SiO2 shell while maintaining specific functional properties of their core material. We also develop a technology that uses atmospheric water to inativate airborne bacteria, one of the safest ways to eliminate bacteria.

Current Projects:

  1. Safe by design: Demonstrating the efficiency of a safer formulation concept for flame-generated engineered nanomaterials (ENMs)
  2. Acute inhalation study of realistic nano scale CeO2 using the Harvard VENGES toxicological platform
  3. Synthesis and Characterization of ZnO and SiO2 coated ZnO Nanoparticles for Biological Applications
  4. A novel method for bacteria inactivation in air and on surfaces using Engineered Water Nanostructures.