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Posted: July 22, 2010
Researchers share nanotechnology knowledge at NanoFormulation2010 event
(Nanowerk News) InForm, a AU$2.7 million EU-funded project involving world-leading research institutions including the University of Sydney, hosted its first conference 'NanoFormulation2010' in June at Stockholm University.
The event brought together 17 research institutions including the University of Sydney, the University of Manchester, Bayer CropScience and the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, to share their latest advances. 172 delegates attended the conference with 45 scientific posters displayed.
The InForm project aims to transfer ideas and knowledge in the field of nanoformulation between top scientists. Many of the products that make our lives more comfortable, safer and enjoyable, such as household and personal care products, foods and pharmaceuticals, now contain nanomaterials to make them stable or help them work better.
Dr Daniela Traini from the University of Sydney, one of the organisers of the conference, explained: "Transparent high factor sunscreen lotions contain nanoparticles too small to scatter visible light but they still block UV wavelengths, protecting us from sunburn. Pharmaceutical firms have developed smart materials for targeted drug delivery, and nanoparticles in textiles can protect them from wear or give bacteria-killing properties to kitchen wipes and surface cleaners.
"The problem with nanomaterials is that you can't just look at them under a microscope and expect them to have a smooth consistency or behave like conventional liquids, creams or powders," she said. "Formulating nanomaterials is complex."
During the conference delegates visited a leading industrial research institute, the YKI Institute for Surface Chemistry, to hear about nanotechnology research in Sweden. Research talks ranged from presentations by internationally recognised companies, who use nanocomposites to manufacture lightweight, high strength and fire-retardant materials, to small companies building more efficient solar cells to generate electricity.
"Bringing scientists together from different research backgrounds and institutions gives them the opportunity to understand the fundamental science behind nanomaterials as ingredients in formulated products and learn about the manufacturing challenges and environmental implications of these materials," said Dr Traini.
The InForm project is funded until June 2012 by the European Commission through the European Union Framework 7 program, and links researchers from Europe, USA and Asia-Pacific working in academia, public research laboratories and industry.
InForm's next conference, NanoFormulation2011, will be held in Singapore from 26 June to 1 July 2011.
InForm activities include six thematic lines of fundamental importance in formulations, using scientific and technical forums, networking events, fact-finding missions and technical workshops to share information and experience. A researcher exchange program also seeds new collaborations between partners in different world regions. The project is coordinated at the University of Manchester in the UK.