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Nano-Safety Research Group

Specialists in the assessment of nanomaterial toxicity to human health and the environment

Pawitrabhorn Samutrtai

SamProfileNanotechnology has been applied into many fields to improve the products quality. The bactericidal effect of silver provides its utilization as an effective disinfectant.  Therefore, many commercial products ranging from clothing, footwear, cosmetics, wound dressings to surface coatings of household appliances contain silver nanomaterials as an active agent to inhibit the growth of microorganisms. Copper oxide nanomaterials have been widely used in electrical applications such as electronic chips, semiconductors, and heat transfer nanofluids benefiting their high electrical and thermal conductivity. Copper oxide nanomaterials are also utilized in catalytic processes, solar cells and lithium batteries. With the antimicrobial and antiviral activities, copper oxide nanomaterials are also contained in face masks, wound dressings, and socks.

Although the applications of these nanomaterials increase the quality of many products, they raise the concern of negative effects. Releasing of engineered nanomaterials into the environment might lead to negative effects to domestic plants and animals, as well as the studies of toxicity of these materials are limited. The knowledge of nanomaterial related toxicity is in need to justify the utilization of nanomaterials.

My project is focusing on the toxicological effects of silver and copper oxide nanomaterials in a soil-dwelling species, Caenorhabditis elegans, since nanoparticles have been found to accumulate in soil and sediment compartment. In addition, C. elegans genes can be modified to promote the study of genes that might play an important role to detoxify these nanomaterials. Therefore, the toxicological pathway(s) of these nanomaterials can be examined using various strains of C. elegans with the different of absence genes.



Prof. Teresa Fernandes (School of Life Sciences, Heriot-Watt University)

Dr. Elizabeth Dyrynda (School of Life Sciences, Heriot-Watt University)


Project Funder:

The Ministry of Sciences and Technology, Thai Government

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