Project 1. OECD Nanogold Project
As part of its Programme on the Safety of Manufactured Nanomaterials, OECD launched the Sponsorship Programme for the Testing of Manufactured Nanomaterials (hereafter the Testing Programme). The objective was to conduct specific tests, relevant to human health and environmental safety endpoints, on a variety of manufactured nanomaterials (MN). The Testing Programme mainly aimed to assess the applicability of the existing test guidelines to nanomaterials, as well as to provide useful information on any intrinsic properties of MNs, which are different from the same bulk material with greater external dimensions.
Project 2. Nano-HSE Risk Research Platform
Due to the acknowledged expertise-base at North-West University, the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management has been selected by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to form one of the three nodes of the Nano-Health, Safety and Environment (Nano-HSE) Risk Research Platform. The functions of the NWU on this platform will be to drive the environmental research into risks posed by nanomaterials.
Project 3. NanoSolutions
The overarching aim of the NANOSOLUTIONS consortium is to provide a means to develop a safety classification for engineered nanomaterials (ENM) based on an understanding of their interactions with living organisms at molecular, cellular and organism levels.
The objective is to determine the “biological identity” of ENM, and subsequently develop a computer program that can predict from the properties of ENM their ability to cause health or environmental hazards. New innovative methods are needed for the ENM risk assessment of ENM safety, i.e. ENM SAFETY CLASSIFIER.
This will allow for the crucial transition from descriptive toxicology to predictive toxicology.