UW-Milwaukee: Sustainable Nanotechnology Center lands $20 million NSF grant

Sustainable Nanotechnology Center lands $20 million NSF grant
Research aims to ensure nanoparticles for safer products

MILWAUKEE _ Man-made nanoparticles are bits of material included in hundreds of products ranging from sunscreen to sporting goods. But what happens when something so small gets into the environment?

Scientists still don’t know how these tiny particles interact with the environment and living things, said Rebecca Klaper, a scientist at the School of Freshwater Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“We want to know which nanoparticles can harm the environment and how we can alter their structure on the molecular level so that they can still be useful in products but no longer harmful,” said Klaper, who is part of a team of scientists from six U.S. institutions that originally made up the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology created by the National Science Foundation in 2012.

Today, the NSF announced a nearly $20 million, five-year grant to expand the center to 12 institutions with additional scientists who will take an interdisciplinary look at the interactions of nanoparticles and living tissue. Robert Hamers, a UW-Madison chemistry professor, directs the center.

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