Networkday on Nanotoxicology

We had a great Network day with guest speakers Frank Kjeldsen from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, SDU Odense and Yvonne Kohl from the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering in Sulzbach, Germany.

Basis for the meeting is the fact that a serious lack of information concerning the potential health risks of nano-sized materials leads to the need for new sensitive models and technologies to assess the risks of nanomaterial-cell interactions.  Frank Kjeldsen, SDU, gave us insights into the groups experiments with detection of silver nanoparticles in vitro and their observations on toxicity. He states that there are more than 3000 products on the market with nano inside ( and that silver has a high share in these products. Applying mass spectrometry and proteomics they studied the effects of nanoparticles on proteins. An important result of these studies revealed that the exposure of cells to Cadmium and Silver nanoparticles causes more radicals than the sum of both. Additionally it is known that silver accumulates for  a long time in the body and the shape of the particles also matters in the uptake rate. So we need to be careful blending different kinds of nanoparticles in consumer products and do more investigations of this kind. 
At IBMT they study nanoparticles in the whole lifecycle from production to use and recycling. Yvonne Kohl introduced us to their experiments with a  transparent membrane with pores to simulate what happens in an organ. The method is in-vivo like and does not involve animal testing. In different scenarios starting with polystyrol particles they compare nano and micro size effects and also compare charging effects. They do SEM or TEM imaging on the chips where they grow the cells. Furthermore, she presented results of the H2020 project HISENTS “High level Integrated Sensor for Nanotoxicity Screening“ (GA no. 685817).
The day ended with discussions and a lab tour for all participants.
During the day we recorded interviews and you can meet Frank Kjeldsen in the recorded film, that is available with  Danish and German subtitles on our HOME page.


Nano, what is that?

The exhibition ‘Nano, keine Kleinigkeit’ allows insights into the nanoworld for non specialists

At NanoSYD in Sønderborg we have various projects that deal with nanotechnology. It is an enabeling technology and our modern world relies in many ways on it and not only within chip-technology.
But what do laymen think about it? Do they have an understanding what it is about? Prof. Dr. Peter Heering, Europauniversität Flensburg, a collaboration partner, says “ In the society the dominating opinion is: Nano is dangerous”.
Here at TEK in Sønderborg we have a project that deals explicitly with the risks that go along with silver nanoparticles below approx. 50 nm as they enter cells and trigger cytotoxic processes that destroy the cells. This offers possibilities in e.g. medicine but also unwanted effects where silver nanoparticles are used as an antimicrobial protection for food. The project is called CheckNano ( and is supported by Interreg Deutschland-Danmark. It aims to develop a fast test for toxic nanoparticles.
The exhibition draws the attention to both aspects of nanotechnology, the possibilities that go along with it as well as the risks and CheckNano is also part of it. In 10 stations and many exhibits visitors will be able to explore effects of the nanoworld with hands on experiments and get a better understanding what it is about.
The exhibition is a joint effort of Europauniversität Flensburg, SDU Sønderborg and the science center Phänomenta in Flensburg. There is the chance to visit it until November 30 in Flensburg. It is planned to continue at Universe in Nordborg next year.

BHJ young researcher award to Jacek Fiutowski

Jacek Fiutowski, is awarded this years BHJ foundation young researcher award. He gets the award for his outstanding publications and big network in the area of nanotechnology. In his speech he talked about the latest Interreg5a project CheckNano, where he is project leader, and is happy that his research has proceeded so far that more and more industry partners are interested in collaborations.
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