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You are here: MEDICA Portal. Part I: Nanotechnology. Materials.

One of the Keys for the 21st Century (Part 3)

One of the Keys for the 21st Century (Part 3)

3rd Part: Check with the Risks first

However, many new medical developments originating from the nanoworld often have to wait for implementation in the market. The reason: „The industry keeps awaiting results that determine possible risks emanating from nanotechnology first. Especially in medicine, the danger for people is of greatest importance“, Professor Harald Krug says, a toxicologist from the University of Bern in Switzerland. He and colleagues investigate the influence of nanoparticles or nanotubes on living tissue and the human body. In this context, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the research project called NanoCare.

Innovation barrier through unknown health risks

„We need to take a very close look if nanomaterials are able to enter the human body“, says Krug. That is why strict guidelines and intensive research are import - in advance. „From the viewpoint of a toxicologist it is theoretically possible that most nanomaterials can enter the body due to their very small size.“ Results from previous studies investigating the risk of nanotechnology are not satisfactory. „In future, we need standardised studies and - most of all - studies that are comparable. We are preparing for that at the moment.“ Krug thinks that clear arrangements and guidelines for research are going to be determined during the next two years. „The number of utilisable studies will rise intensively from next year.“

„Hopes are high to use nanotechnology in technical, biological and medical areas“, Krug adds. And those hopes are not going to be dashed. Even though some visions will not be realised in the end, many application will enrich human's lives in future. Krug's attitude towards nanotechnology is very positive. „We should avoid mistakes but I do not recognise any severe problems from my perspective.“

- Part 1: One of the Keys for the 21st Century
- Part 2: Medical Products more Compatible for Body
- Part 3: Ckeck with the Risks first


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