Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
April 4, 2007
Texas State University-San Marcos has announced that nanoTox, Inc. of Houston has become a member of its Nanomaterials Application Center, a collaboration of industry and university scientists developing the building blocks of nanotechnology.
nanoTox addresses the largely unexplored toxicity issues of nanomaterials to ensure worker and environmental safety. The nanotechnology industry has acknowledged the need for more data and greater understanding of issues related to the manufacture, application, and use of nanoparticles.
"The level of innovation in nanotechnology and the development of new products is occurring at a breakneck pace," said Dave Hobson, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of nanoTox. "Some toxicologists are concerned about a relative lack of attention toward investigating potential drawbacks that some of these compounds could present.”
nanoTox focuses on identifying and cataloging the properties of various nanomaterials so that their potential hazards can be recognized and safety measures can be developed to eliminate or control product risks. nanoTox is developing methodologies for evaluating a number of properties that could present manufacturing challenges.
“The alliance of Texas State and nanoTox is a natural alignment that will permit an independent third party analysis of nano issues,” said Walt Trybula, Ph.D., director of the Nanomaterials Application Center. “With the call by government agencies to have more learned analysis of nano concerns, this cooperation will provide the basis for answering their call for professional and independent evaluation of the issues.”
Nanomaterials Application Center technicians will collaborate with nanoTox to provide expertise, support, and guidance in the methodologies being developed. The center also is examining requirements for interested technical experts to become proficient in identifying and controlling potential nanoparticle incidents.
About the Nanomaterials Application Center
The Nanomaterials Application Center (NAC) at Texas State is a collaborative effort between industry and university. Its efforts are directed at fundamental understanding of nano material properties (mesomaterials) and their incorporation into products that address specific needs. From the industry standpoint, a by-product of this effort is the training of scientists and engineers that can work in the nano realm. This training of people to think, develop new concepts, and create novel products is key to the university mission. NAC addresses the needs of both industry and academia as technology moves further into the nano realm and novel new material properties are discovered.