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PubMed | Health Canada, Argonne National Laboratory, Compass Inc., Independent and 12 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Risk analysis : an official publication of the Society for Risk Analysis | Year: 2016

The Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) has a history of bringing thought leadership to topics of emerging risk. In September 2014, the SRA Emerging Nanoscale Materials Specialty Group convened an international workshop to examine the use of alternative testing strategies (ATS) for manufactured nanomaterials (NM) from a risk analysis perspective. Experts in NM environmental health and safety, human health, ecotoxicology, regulatory compliance, risk analysis, and ATS evaluated and discussed the state of the science for in vitro and other alternatives to traditional toxicology testing for NM. Based on this review, experts recommended immediate and near-term actions that would advance ATS use in NM risk assessment. Three focal areas-human health, ecological health, and exposure considerations-shaped deliberations about information needs, priorities, and the next steps required to increase confidence in and use of ATS in NM risk assessment. The deliberations revealed that ATS are now being used for screening, and that, in the near term, ATS could be developed for use in read-across or categorization decision making within certain regulatory frameworks. Participants recognized that leadership is required from within the scientific community to address basic challenges, including standardizing materials, protocols, techniques and reporting, and designing experiments relevant to real-world conditions, as well as coordination and sharing of large-scale collaborations and data. Experts agreed that it will be critical to include experimental parameters that can support the development of adverse outcome pathways. Numerous other insightful ideas for investment in ATS emerged throughout the discussions and are further highlighted in this article.


News Article | November 8, 2016
Site: www.rdmag.com

What if you could take one of the most abundant natural materials on earth and harness its strength to lighten the heaviest of objects, to replace synthetic materials, or use it in scaffolding to grow bone, in a fast-growing area of science in oral health care? This all might be possible with cellulose nanocrystals, the molecular matter of all plant life. As industrial filler material, they can be blended with plastics and other synthetics. They are as strong as steel, tough as glass, lightweight, and green. "Plastics are currently reinforced with fillers made of steel, carbon, Kevlar, or glass. There is an increasing demand in manufacturing for sustainable materials that are lightweight and strong to replace these fillers," said Douglas M. Fox, associate professor of chemistry at American University. "Cellulose nanocrystals are an environmentally friendly filler. If there comes a time that they're used widely in manufacturing, cellulose nanocrystals will lessen the weight of materials, which will reduce energy." Fox has submitted a patent for his work with cellulose nanocrystals, which involves a simple, scalable method to improve their performance. Published results of his method can be found in the chemistry journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. Fox's method could be used as a biomaterial and for applications in transportation, infrastructure and wind turbines. Cellulose gives stems, leaves and other organic material in the natural world their strength. That strength already has been harnessed for use in many commercial materials. At the nano-level, cellulose fibers can be broken down into tiny crystals, particles smaller than ten millionths of a meter. Deriving cellulose from natural sources such as wood, tunicate (ocean-dwelling sea cucumbers) and certain kinds of bacteria, researchers prepare crystals of different sizes and strengths. For all of the industry potential, hurdles abound. As nanocellulose disperses within plastic, scientists must find the sweet spot: the right amount of nanoparticle-matrix interaction that yields the strongest, lightest property. Fox overcame four main barriers by altering the surface chemistry of nanocrystals with a simple process of ion exchange. Ion exchange reduces water absorption (cellulose composites lose their strength if they absorb water); increases the temperature at which the nanocrystals decompose (needed to blend with plastics); reduces clumping; and improves re-dispersal after the crystals dry. Cellulose nanocrystals as a biomaterial is yet another commercial prospect. In dental regenerative medicine, restoring sufficient bone volume is needed to support a patient's teeth or dental implants. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, through an agreement with the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health, are looking for an improved clinical approach that would regrow a patient's bone. When researchers experimented with Fox's modified nanocrystals, they were able to disperse the nanocrystals in scaffolds for dental regenerative medicine purposes. "When we cultivated cells on the cellulose nanocrystal-based scaffolds, preliminary results showed remarkable potential of the scaffolds for both their mechanical properties and the biological response. This suggests that scaffolds with appropriate cellulose nanocrystal concentrations are a promising approach for bone regeneration," said Martin Chiang, team leader for NIST's Biomaterials for Oral Health Project. Another collaboration Fox has is with Georgia Institute of Technology and Owens Corning, a company specializing in fiberglass insulation and composites, to research the benefits to replace glass-reinforced plastic used in airplanes, cars and wind turbines. He also is working with Vireo Advisors and NIST to characterize the health and safety of cellulose nanocrystals and nanofibers. "As we continue to show these nanomaterials are safe, and make it easier to disperse them into a variety of materials, we get closer to utilizing nature's chemically resistant, strong, and most abundant polymer in everyday products," Fox said.


Home > Press > Nanocellulose in medicine and green manufacturing: American University professor develops method to improve performance of cellulose nanocrystals Abstract: What if you could take one of the most abundant natural materials on earth and harness its strength to lighten the heaviest of objects, to replace synthetic materials, or use it in scaffolding to grow bone, in a fast-growing area of science in oral health care? This all might be possible with cellulose nanocrystals, the molecular matter of all plant life. As industrial filler material, they can be blended with plastics and other synthetics. They are as strong as steel, tough as glass, lightweight, and green. "Plastics are currently reinforced with fillers made of steel, carbon, Kevlar, or glass. There is an increasing demand in manufacturing for sustainable materials that are lightweight and strong to replace these fillers," said Douglas M. Fox, associate professor of chemistry at American University. "Cellulose nanocrystals are an environmentally friendly filler. If there comes a time that they're used widely in manufacturing, cellulose nanocrystals will lessen the weight of materials, which will reduce energy." Fox has submitted a patent for his work with cellulose nanocrystals, which involves a simple, scalable method to improve their performance. Published results of his method can be found in the chemistry journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. Fox's method could be used as a biomaterial and for applications in transportation, infrastructure and wind turbines. The power of cellulose Cellulose gives stems, leaves and other organic material in the natural world their strength. That strength already has been harnessed for use in many commercial materials. At the nano-level, cellulose fibers can be broken down into tiny crystals, particles smaller than ten millionths of a meter. Deriving cellulose from natural sources such as wood, tunicate (ocean-dwelling sea cucumbers) and certain kinds of bacteria, researchers prepare crystals of different sizes and strengths. For all of the industry potential, hurdles abound. As nanocellulose disperses within plastic, scientists must find the sweet spot: the right amount of nanoparticle-matrix interaction that yields the strongest, lightest property. Fox overcame four main barriers by altering the surface chemistry of nanocrystals with a simple process of ion exchange. Ion exchange reduces water absorption (cellulose composites lose their strength if they absorb water); increases the temperature at which the nanocrystals decompose (needed to blend with plastics); reduces clumping; and improves re-dispersal after the crystals dry. Cell growth Cellulose nanocrystals as a biomaterial is yet another commercial prospect. In dental regenerative medicine, restoring sufficient bone volume is needed to support a patient's teeth or dental implants. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, through an agreement with the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health, are looking for an improved clinical approach that would regrow a patient's bone. When researchers experimented with Fox's modified nanocrystals, they were able to disperse the nanocrystals in scaffolds for dental regenerative medicine purposes. "When we cultivated cells on the cellulose nanocrystal-based scaffolds, preliminary results showed remarkable potential of the scaffolds for both their mechanical properties and the biological response. This suggests that scaffolds with appropriate cellulose nanocrystal concentrations are a promising approach for bone regeneration," said Martin Chiang, team leader for NIST's Biomaterials for Oral Health Project. Another collaboration Fox has is with Georgia Institute of Technology and Owens Corning, a company specializing in fiberglass insulation and composites, to research the benefits to replace glass-reinforced plastic used in airplanes, cars and wind turbines. He also is working with Vireo Advisors and NIST to characterize the health and safety of cellulose nanocrystals and nanofibers. "As we continue to show these nanomaterials are safe, and make it easier to disperse them into a variety of materials, we get closer to utilizing nature's chemically resistant, strong, and most abundant polymer in everyday products," Fox said. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


News Article | November 7, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

What if you could take one of the most abundant natural materials on earth and harness its strength to lighten the heaviest of objects, to replace synthetic materials, or use it in scaffolding to grow bone, in a fast-growing area of science in oral health care? This all might be possible with cellulose nanocrystals, the molecular matter of all plant life. As industrial filler material, they can be blended with plastics and other synthetics. They are as strong as steel, tough as glass, lightweight, and green. "Plastics are currently reinforced with fillers made of steel, carbon, Kevlar, or glass. There is an increasing demand in manufacturing for sustainable materials that are lightweight and strong to replace these fillers," said Douglas M. Fox, associate professor of chemistry at American University. "Cellulose nanocrystals are an environmentally friendly filler. If there comes a time that they're used widely in manufacturing, cellulose nanocrystals will lessen the weight of materials, which will reduce energy." Fox has submitted a patent for his work with cellulose nanocrystals, which involves a simple, scalable method to improve their performance. Published results of his method can be found in the chemistry journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. Fox's method could be used as a biomaterial and for applications in transportation, infrastructure and wind turbines. Cellulose gives stems, leaves and other organic material in the natural world their strength. That strength already has been harnessed for use in many commercial materials. At the nano-level, cellulose fibers can be broken down into tiny crystals, particles smaller than ten millionths of a meter. Deriving cellulose from natural sources such as wood, tunicate (ocean-dwelling sea cucumbers) and certain kinds of bacteria, researchers prepare crystals of different sizes and strengths. For all of the industry potential, hurdles abound. As nanocellulose disperses within plastic, scientists must find the sweet spot: the right amount of nanoparticle-matrix interaction that yields the strongest, lightest property. Fox overcame four main barriers by altering the surface chemistry of nanocrystals with a simple process of ion exchange. Ion exchange reduces water absorption (cellulose composites lose their strength if they absorb water); increases the temperature at which the nanocrystals decompose (needed to blend with plastics); reduces clumping; and improves re-dispersal after the crystals dry. Cellulose nanocrystals as a biomaterial is yet another commercial prospect. In dental regenerative medicine, restoring sufficient bone volume is needed to support a patient's teeth or dental implants. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, through an agreement with the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health, are looking for an improved clinical approach that would regrow a patient's bone. When researchers experimented with Fox's modified nanocrystals, they were able to disperse the nanocrystals in scaffolds for dental regenerative medicine purposes. "When we cultivated cells on the cellulose nanocrystal-based scaffolds, preliminary results showed remarkable potential of the scaffolds for both their mechanical properties and the biological response. This suggests that scaffolds with appropriate cellulose nanocrystal concentrations are a promising approach for bone regeneration," said Martin Chiang, team leader for NIST's Biomaterials for Oral Health Project. Another collaboration Fox has is with Georgia Institute of Technology and Owens Corning, a company specializing in fiberglass insulation and composites, to research the benefits to replace glass-reinforced plastic used in airplanes, cars and wind turbines. He also is working with Vireo Advisors and NIST to characterize the health and safety of cellulose nanocrystals and nanofibers. "As we continue to show these nanomaterials are safe, and make it easier to disperse them into a variety of materials, we get closer to utilizing nature's chemically resistant, strong, and most abundant polymer in everyday products," Fox said.


News Article | November 7, 2016
Site: phys.org

This all might be possible with cellulose nanocrystals, the molecular matter of all plant life. As industrial filler material, they can be blended with plastics and other synthetics. They are as strong as steel, tough as glass, lightweight, and green. "Plastics are currently reinforced with fillers made of steel, carbon, Kevlar, or glass. There is an increasing demand in manufacturing for sustainable materials that are lightweight and strong to replace these fillers," said Douglas M. Fox, associate professor of chemistry at American University. "Cellulose nanocrystals are an environmentally friendly filler. If there comes a time that they're used widely in manufacturing, cellulose nanocrystals will lessen the weight of materials, which will reduce energy." Fox has submitted a patent for his work with cellulose nanocrystals, which involves a simple, scalable method to improve their performance. Published results of his method can be found in the chemistry journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. Fox's method could be used as a biomaterial and for applications in transportation, infrastructure and wind turbines. Cellulose gives stems, leaves and other organic material in the natural world their strength. That strength already has been harnessed for use in many commercial materials. At the nano-level, cellulose fibers can be broken down into tiny crystals, particles smaller than ten millionths of a meter. Deriving cellulose from natural sources such as wood, tunicate (ocean-dwelling sea cucumbers) and certain kinds of bacteria, researchers prepare crystals of different sizes and strengths. For all of the industry potential, hurdles abound. As nanocellulose disperses within plastic, scientists must find the sweet spot: the right amount of nanoparticle-matrix interaction that yields the strongest, lightest property. Fox overcame four main barriers by altering the surface chemistry of nanocrystals with a simple process of ion exchange. Ion exchange reduces water absorption (cellulose composites lose their strength if they absorb water); increases the temperature at which the nanocrystals decompose (needed to blend with plastics); reduces clumping; and improves re-dispersal after the crystals dry. Cellulose nanocrystals as a biomaterial is yet another commercial prospect. In dental regenerative medicine, restoring sufficient bone volume is needed to support a patient's teeth or dental implants. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, through an agreement with the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health, are looking for an improved clinical approach that would regrow a patient's bone. When researchers experimented with Fox's modified nanocrystals, they were able to disperse the nanocrystals in scaffolds for dental regenerative medicine purposes. "When we cultivated cells on the cellulose nanocrystal-based scaffolds, preliminary results showed remarkable potential of the scaffolds for both their mechanical properties and the biological response. This suggests that scaffolds with appropriate cellulose nanocrystal concentrations are a promising approach for bone regeneration," said Martin Chiang, team leader for NIST's Biomaterials for Oral Health Project. Another collaboration Fox has is with Georgia Institute of Technology and Owens Corning, a company specializing in fiberglass insulation and composites, to research the benefits to replace glass-reinforced plastic used in airplanes, cars and wind turbines. He also is working with Vireo Advisors and NIST to characterize the health and safety of cellulose nanocrystals and nanofibers. "As we continue to show these nanomaterials are safe, and make it easier to disperse them into a variety of materials, we get closer to utilizing nature's chemically resistant, strong, and most abundant polymer in everyday products," Fox said. Explore further: New computational approach allows researchers to design cellulose nanocomposites with optimal properties More information: Douglas M. Fox et al. Simultaneously Tailoring Surface Energies and Thermal Stabilities of Cellulose Nanocrystals Using Ion Exchange: Effects on Polymer Composite Properties for Transportation, Infrastructure, and Renewable Energy Applications, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (2016). DOI: 10.1021/acsami.6b06083


News Article | November 10, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

What if you could take one of the most abundant natural materials on Earth and harness its strength to lighten the heaviest of objects, to replace synthetic materials, or use it in scaffolding to grow bone, in a fast-growing area of science in oral health care? This all might be possible with cellulose nanocrystals, the molecular matter of all plant life. As industrial filler material, they can be blended with plastics and other synthetics. They are as strong as steel, tough as glass, lightweight, and green. "Plastics are currently reinforced with fillers made of steel, carbon, Kevlar, or glass. There is an increasing demand in manufacturing for sustainable materials that are lightweight and strong to replace these fillers," said Douglas M. Fox, associate professor of chemistry at American University. "Cellulose nanocrystals are an environmentally friendly filler. If there comes a time that they're used widely in manufacturing, cellulose nanocrystals will lessen the weight of materials, which will reduce energy." Fox has submitted a patent for his work with cellulose nanocrystals, which involves a simple, scalable method to improve their performance. Published results of his method can be found in the chemistry journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. Fox's method could be used as a biomaterial and for applications in transportation, infrastructure and wind turbines. Cellulose gives stems, leaves and other organic material in the natural world their strength. That strength already has been harnessed for use in many commercial materials. At the nano-level, cellulose fibers can be broken down into tiny crystals, particles smaller than ten millionths of a meter. Deriving cellulose from natural sources such as wood, tunicate (ocean-dwelling sea cucumbers) and certain kinds of bacteria, researchers prepare crystals of different sizes and strengths. For all of the industry potential, hurdles abound. As nanocellulose disperses within plastic, scientists must find the sweet spot: the right amount of nanoparticle-matrix interaction that yields the strongest, lightest property. Fox overcame four main barriers by altering the surface chemistry of nanocrystals with a simple process of ion exchange. Ion exchange reduces water absorption (cellulose composites lose their strength if they absorb water); increases the temperature at which the nanocrystals decompose (needed to blend with plastics); reduces clumping; and improves re-dispersal after the crystals dry. Cellulose nanocrystals as a biomaterial is yet another commercial prospect. In dental regenerative medicine, restoring sufficient bone volume is needed to support a patient's teeth or dental implants. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, through an agreement with the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health, are looking for an improved clinical approach that would regrow a patient's bone. When researchers experimented with Fox's modified nanocrystals, they were able to disperse the nanocrystals in scaffolds for dental regenerative medicine purposes. "When we cultivated cells on the cellulose nanocrystal-based scaffolds, preliminary results showed remarkable potential of the scaffolds for both their mechanical properties and the biological response. This suggests that scaffolds with appropriate cellulose nanocrystal concentrations are a promising approach for bone regeneration," said Martin Chiang, team leader for NIST's Biomaterials for Oral Health Project. Another collaboration Fox has is with Georgia Institute of Technology and Owens Corning, a company specializing in fiberglass insulation and composites, to research the benefits to replace glass-reinforced plastic used in airplanes, cars and wind turbines. He also is working with Vireo Advisors and NIST to characterize the health and safety of cellulose nanocrystals and nanofibers. "As we continue to show these nanomaterials are safe, and make it easier to disperse them into a variety of materials, we get closer to utilizing nature's chemically resistant, strong, and most abundant polymer in everyday products," Fox said.


Shatkin J.A.,Vireo Advisors | Ong K.J.,Vireo Advisors | Ede J.D.,Vireo Advisors | Wegner T.H.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Goergen M.,P3Nano
Tappi Journal | Year: 2016

Commercialization of cellulose nanomaterials (CNs) is rapidly advancing, to the benefit of many end-use product sectors, and providing information about the safe manufacturing and handling for CNs is a priority. Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are required for industrially produced materials to communicate information on their potential health, fire, reactivity, and environmental hazards, and to provide recommendations on how to safely work with these materials. Cellulose and cellulose pulp, which have widespread commercial end uses, can create nuisance dusts when dried and are required to have SDS. We therefore expect that nanoscale forms of cellulose will also require SDS. This study identifies the currently available SDS information for CNs and highlights existing gaps in our knowledge. With U.S. and international adoption of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for Hazard Communication, producers are required to report SDS known data and data gaps. Given the novelty of all nanomaterials, it is preferable to fill these gaps in SDS as a demonstration of our commitment to the safe production and use of these materials. To evaluate the availability of SDS information and prepare for commercialization of CNs, we assessed available safety information for CNs to identify available GHS SDS data, data gaps, and what data need to yet be developed to fully classify CNs according to the GHS. Specifically, we report on the available data and gaps regarding the toxicological profile, environmental characteristics, physical and chemical properties, exposure controls, and personal protection for cellulose nanomaterials, to encourage the development of missing data and advance safe commercialization.


Cowie J.,Cowie and Company | Bilek E.M.T.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Wegner T.H.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Shatkin J.A.,Vireo Advisors
Tappi Journal | Year: 2014

Nanocellulose has enormous potential to provide an important materials platform in numerous product sectors. This study builds on previous work by the same authors in which likely high-volume, low-volume, and novel applications for cellulosic nanomaterials were identified. In particular, this study creates a transparent methodology and estimates the potential annual tonnage requirements for nanocellulose in the previously identified applications in the United States (U.S.). High, average, and low market penetration estimates are provided for each application. Published data sources of materials use in the various applications provide the basis for estimating nanocellulose market size. Annual U.S. market potential for high-volume applications of nanocellulose is estimated at 6 million metric tons, based on current markets and middle market penetration estimates. The largest uses for nanocellulose are projected to be in packaging (2.0 million metric tons), paper (1.5 million metric tons), and plastic film applications (0.7 million metric tons). Cement has a potential nanocellulose market size of over 4 million metric tons on a global basis, but the U.S. market share estimated for cement is 21,000 metric tons, assuming market penetration is initially limited to the ultra-high performance concrete market. Total annual consumption of nanocellulose for low-volume applications is less than 10% of the high-volume applications. Estimates for nanocellulose use in emerging novel applications were not made because these applications generally have yet to come to market. The study found that the majority of the near-term market potential for nanocellulose appears to be in its fibrillar versus crystalline form. Market size estimates exceed three prior estimates for nanocellulose applications, but the methodologies for those studies are not transparent.


Shatkin J.A.,Vireo Advisors | Kim B.,Independent
Environmental Science: Nano | Year: 2015

Cellulose nanomaterials (CNs) derived from wood fibers are renewable materials with wide applicability for use in consumer products as bio-based composite materials and have the potential to replace petroleum-based materials in many existing and novel applications. Because their nanoscale features may impart novel chemical properties and behaviors, it is necessary to address the environmental and safety aspects of CNs to ensure safety in commercial applications, before wide introduction into society. NANO LCRA, a proposed life cycle risk assessment framework, was used for pre-commercial screening of selected applications of CN as a method for systematically identifying and assessing potential risks of CN from occupational, consumer and environmental exposures throughout the product life cycle. The analysis identifies potential exposure scenarios, evaluates toxicity and assesses the adequacy of available data to characterize risk, highlighting data needs and gaps that must be filled to reduce current uncertainty about CN safety. The analysis revealed that occupational inhalation exposure associated with handling CN as a dry powder was the highest priority data gap including the challenge of quantitative measurement for exposure assessment, followed by gaps in knowledge about the toxicity of CN in consumer use products, such as packaging, particularly for food contact. The NANO LCRA findings were then organized into a roadmap for filling key data gaps to allow safety and sustainability assessment that prioritizes data needs according to risk significance to ensure that uncertainty about the CN safety does not interfere with the commercialization of products to market. © The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Shatkin J.A.,Vireo Advisors | Ong K.J.,Vireo Advisors | Ede J.D.,Vireo Advisors
Advanced Materials - TechConnect Briefs 2016 | Year: 2016

Commercialization of cellulose nanomaterials (CN) is rapidly advancing to the benefit of many end use product sectors and disseminating knowledge regarding the safe manufacturing and handling for CN is a priority. There is significant interest in a breadth of application categories from packaging and construction materials to transportation, food, electronics and consumer products. Each application can trigger different regulatory requirements, from safety data sheet development to premarket regulatory reviews. This presentation will discuss the current efforts to establish safety determinations for CN in the U.S. and beyond. Specifically, we report on the data available and an analysis of current gaps for cellulose nanomaterials with regard to the toxicological profile, environmental characteristics, physical and chemical properties, and exposure data, to inform the development of key information to advance safe commercialization.

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