Listing of FY 2009 nanotechnology-related environmental, health, and safety research projects

Subject Area:
NNI Publications and Reports
EHS-related Documents
Publication Date: Oct. 20 2011


The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requested that NNI agencies provide the NSET Subcommittee with detailed information on EHS research projects funded in FY 2009. These data were used to identify areas of strength or need when formulating the 2011 NNI EHS Research Strategy. Summaries of the data on these EHS projects are presented by core EHS research category in Chapters 2-6 of the NNI EHS Research Strategy, and six examples of research progress are highlighted in this document. A complete listing of the FY 2009 research projects is available here:  (1) totals of individual projects may vary from the summary tables due to rounding and (2) informatics and modeling is a new core area and so was not part of the data call. Please contact Liesl Heeter, NNCO, with questions about the tables.

The reader should note the difference between the scopes of the research included in this OMB-requested project data reported for FY 2009 and that reported for environmental, health, safety, and risk mitigation as a part of Program Component Area 7 in the annual NNI Supplement to the President’s Budget.

Further description of this data call is available in the NNI EHS Research Strategy, p. 7.

Nanotechnology Fact

Nanotechnology is used in many commercial products and processes, for example, nanomaterials are used to manufacture lightweight, strong materials for applications such as boat hulls, sporting equipment, and automotive parts. Nanomaterials are also used in sunscreens and cosmetics.

Nanostructured products are used to produce space-saving insulators which are useful when size and weight is at a premium—for example, when insulating long pipelines in remote places, or trying to reduce heat loss from an old house. Nanostructured catalysts make chemical manufacturing processes more efficient, by saving energy and reducing waste.

In healthcare, nanoceramics are used in some dental implants or to fill holes in diseased bones, because their mechanical and chemical properties can be “tuned” to attract bone cells from the surrounding tissue to make new bone. Some pharmaceutical products have been reformulated with nanosized particles to improve their absorption and make them easier to administer. Opticians apply nanocoatings to eyeglasses to make them easier to keep clean and harder to scratch and nanoenabled coatings are used on fabrics to make clothing stain-resistant and easy to care for.

Almost all high-performance electronic devices manufactured in the past decade use some nanomaterials. Nanotechnology helps build new transistor structures and interconnects for the fastest, most advanced computing chips.

For more information, see Benefits and Applications.

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