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NIEHS awards Recovery Act funds to focus more research on health and safety of nanomaterials
Date:11/19/2009

d at developing reliable tools and approaches to determine the impact on biological systems and health outcomes of engineered materials.

The new awards focus on ensuring that we have reliable and reproducible methods and models to assess exposure, exposure metrics, and biological response to nanomaterials. This research is also essential for the harmonization of research results and forming a scientifically sound basis for hazard assessment, as well as the safe design and development of ENMs.

"There are inconsistencies in the biological effects of ENMs reported in the scientific literature, and a major reason for this is lack of detailed characterization of the physical and chemical properties of the ENMs used in these studies," said Sri Nadadur, Ph.D., program administrator at the NIEHS. "One of our goals is to identify three or four reliable and reproducible test methods using the same ENMs by investigators across different labs."

To accomplish this, the NIEHS brought 36 investigators together on Oct. 20, 2009 in North Carolina, where the NIEHS is headquartered, to identify ENMs, assays and test systems to be utilized in these investigations in a more coordinated and integrated effort.

The NIEHS is establishing an integrated program that will narrow its focus to identify the best methods to evaluate the health effects of nanomaterials through use of cell cultures and animal systems. After the initial meeting, grantees will meet face-to-face twice a year to share information, evaluate progress and determine next steps.

"Recovery Act funds have allowed us to expand our efforts in this important area," said Sally Tinkle, Ph.D., senior science sdvisor at the NIEHS. "We want to be sure that we come away with some better tools to assess the health and safety of nanomaterials." This NIEHS effort focused on nanomaterials supports the goals identified by the National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategy for Nanotechnology-rela
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Contact: Robin Mackar
919-541-0073
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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