Nanotechnology Assay Development for Environmental and Medical Applications


July 21, 2016


Charlie Corredor


University of Washington


During the past two decades, the rate of development and production of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) have rapidly increased due to their potential applications in medicine, cosmetics, energy, manufacturing, catalysis, food preservation, etc. However, the biological and environmental fate and transport of ENPs remains poorly understood. This is partly due to the lack of accurate, simple and affordable methodologies for ENP detection and characterization. As a result, scientists developing the new generation of nanotech-enabled consumer products have little information on the potential life cycle implications of their designs, leading to critical data gaps regarding possible ENPs applications and exposures. The limitation in our current knowledge about the feasible applications and safety of ENPs creates tremendous uncertainty for regulations and risk management. This work presents a description of methodologies aimed to to screen for the presence of engineered nanoparticles in relevant complex biological and environmental samples. I will also briefly present current work on improved lateral flow (LF) immunoassay diagnostics that employ an electric field technique to concentrate targets for higher accuracy than existing tests. The development of sensitive, simple, and affordable techniques in environmental and biological relevant samples will ultimately aid in understanding the health risk of ENPs exposure, design of safe nanoproducts, and advancement of nanomedicine.