NanoSafe Australia was established in 2006 with grants to its coordinator from Nanotechnology Victoria Pty Ltd (NanoVic) and the RMIT School of Medical Sciences.
This was after NanoVic initially approached the Australian Centre for Human Health Risk Assessment (ACHHRA) at Monash University about available expertise regarding the health, safety and regulatory issues surrounding nanotechnology.
The foundation members of NanoSafe Australia are network coordinator Associate Professor Paul Wright (RMIT University), Professor Brian Priestly (Director, ACHHRA), Associate Professor John Edwards (Flinders University) and Dr Andrew Harford (then based at RMIT University). Currently, the network comprises 14 research groups across Australia – see the member groups and activities (PDF 180KB 7p).
Nanosafe Australia became a foundation member of the Asia Nano Safe research network when it was established in January 2013 under the auspices of Asia Nano Forum (ANF), by the founding co-ordinator Paul Wright representing Australia’s nanosafety contribution to the Asian region.
This network is significant because it is Australia’s first program to deal with the considerable challenges surrounding the health and safety of nanomaterials. It involves a coordinated approach and collaborations with various specialists in diverse fields of research.
Australian toxicologists, risk assessors and material scientists in Nanosafe Australia are experienced in fields of study that are directly related to the issue of nanotoxicology, such as:
- Green chemistry design, synthesis and manufacture of nanomaterials
- Characterisation of physico-chemical properties of nanomaterials
- Measurement of ultra-fine particles in ambient air
- Toxicokinetics of particles
- Pre-clinical safety testing
- Immuno-, neuro- and biochemical toxicology
- Occupational and food allergy
- Occupational hygiene, workplace monitoring, work health and safety
- Ecotoxicology, nanovectors, environmental toxicology and contamination
- Ecological and human health risk assessments
- Risk management, perception and communication
The NanoSafe Australia network has ongoing partnerships with materials scientists and nanometrologists, which aid nanotoxicology studies by characterising the specific traits of nanomaterials that are important to their potential for bioactivity and toxicity.