Tiny but smart – What are nanoparticles?

Dirnano exploits nanoparticles. These are not wierd or alien entities, they are around us in the natural word. We humans have learned how to manifacture nps, because they have several applications, especially in medicine.

Nanoparticles are small objects, normally below 100 nm (one nm is one billionth of a meter), and they are commonly present around us.
In fact, nanoparticles are naturally produced by geological (volcanic dust), atmospheric events (salt aerosol) , combustion (engine exhausts PM10, forest fires, flying ashes) or by the minute break down of biological materials.

But there are also man-made nanoparticles: secondary products of industrial or technological procedures or intentionally synthesized for several purpose: to produce the toner of photocopiers toners or car tires.

The last come of the such nanoparticle wide world are the so-called engineered nanoparticles: these are intentionally manufactured by men to carry out a desired action.
In the medical and pharmacological field, the first nanoparticles developed were “liposomes” to deliver drugs most effectively: these are small vesicles made by a thin lipid bilayer containing the drug.

Presently there is a very large number of simple nanoparticles, based on organic (soft, e.g. organic polymers) or inorganic materials (hard, e.g. gold, silica).
Very often the particle is made by a core material and a surface cover, usually a polymer (like PEG) which improves stability, circulation, avoid elimination by specific micro and nanoparticle-eating cells macrophages), and minimize side effects.

OTHER APPLICATIONS

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Dirnano counts on experienced nanotechnologists to design innovative curing agents.
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Tale or …Future? - Our vision

The whole network shares the goal of governing the ability of nanoparticles to escape or…
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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 956544
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