UCLA scientists have developed a testing strategy to help manufacturers monitor and test the safety and health risks of engineered nanomaterials.
Nanotechnology involves manipulating atoms to create molecules smaller than one one-thousandth the diameter of a human hair. “Nano” means one billionth of a meter and the field might exceed the impact of the Industrial Revolution, becoming a $1 trillion market by 2015.
No government or industry regulations yet exist for the emerging technology.
At such small sizes, materials exhibit unconventional physical and chemical properties that allow them to perform new feats in the areas of electronics, optics, and drug delivery.
Engineered nanomaterials are already being used in such items as tires, cosmetics, and electronics and will also be utilized increasingly in medical diagnosis, imaging and drug delivery.
A review article on the UCLA research appears in the Feb. 3 issue of the journal Science.