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IGERT Research

Novel Nanomaterials

Communication, Education,
& Policy

Molecular, Cellular,
& Tissue Nanotoxicity

Real-Time Toxicity Testing

Functional Nanotoxicity
(Organs & Organisms)

Nanomaterials are of great interest precisely because they behave differently than we expect based on their bulk counterparts; however, those differences can profoundly change how nanomaterials interact with people, animals, and the environment. We need to develop an understanding of not just what nanomaterials we  can make, but also what we  should make.

REN@WVU follows a spiral that builds upon itself. New nanomaterials are fabricated and thoroughly characterized, studied to understand how they interact with biomolecules and cells, and subsequently with more complex entities to understand correlations between physical and chemical properties and bioactivity. That knowledge prompts the development of new tools to improve research and develop faster and more sensitive nanomaterials screening.

Communication, education and policy inform government regulation of nanomaterials, disseminate scientific knowledge and educate the public so they can make informed decisions on what role nanomaterials will play in their own lives. New nanomaterials benefit from (and are constrained by) each of these factors, and re-initiate the cycle to continually improve our knowledge.

REN@WVU will train Ph.D. students to bridge the historical divide between nanomaterials and biological activity researchers, and to become effective communicators to other researchers, consumers and regulators of nanomaterials.

Nanotoxicity at All Levels

The first step of nanotoxicity testing is investigating the viability of cells and tissues in the presence of nanomaterials. Provided the nanomaterials do not kill cells or tissues, we must then understand whether the nanomaterials impact the functionality of molecules and cells within the body. Finally, holistic aspects of nanomaterials exposure must be investigated.

Real-Time Toxicity Testing

New nanomaterials are being created faster than our ability to evaluate them. Using our understanding of nanotoxicity, we are developing instruments that can streamline nanotoxicity testing for new materials.

Recent Papers

Nano-Related Environmental Health and Safety


Web Resources