Increasing safety of nanomaterials through accurate design
The risks posed by nanomaterials to humans and the environment due to their very small size have not yet been fully clarified. For this reason, there is a need for new technologies that allow the risks posed to be identified and minimized even before they are industrially manufactured.
This approach is embodied within the "Safety by Design" concept, which aims to minimize risks at an early stage of the design process. In addition to quality and efficacy, the safety of the product is also determined during the design phase. The EU project "SABYDOMA - SAfety BY Design Of nanoMAterials" develops new "Safety-by-Design" protocols and implements them in industrial processes.
The "SABYDOMA" project deals with the development of new "Safety-by-Design" protocols and their implementation in industrial processes. A novel approach of this EU project is the application of system control and optimization theory, including the philosophy of Model Predictive Control (MPC), to take the whole issue of "Safety by Design" from laboratory innovation to the industrial production line.
An equally important innovative step of "SABYDOMA" is the establishment of high-throughput platforms to manufacture nanomaterials and to test their toxicity directly at the point of production. The screening platform comprises physiochemical sensor elements and in vitro targets of varying complexity (from 2D-biomembranes to complex cell lines). The screening signal controls the redesign and production of the safe nanomaterials within a feedback loop.
Based on the results from the EU project "HISENTS", which was completed in 2019, "SABYDOMA" will operate through four industrial case studies to develop technologies for the rapid screening of nanomaterials at various stages of the production process. The test platforms will be further developed during the course of the project from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4 (test setup in the laboratory) to 6 (prototype in a deployment environment).
Fraunhofer IBMT expertise in the field of biohybrid systems
The Fraunhofer IBMT is involved in the project with its departments "Bioprocesses and Bioanalytics" and "Biomedical Microsystems". The IBMT researchers contribute their long-term experience in the field of biohybrid systems to "SABYDOMA" and further develop a microfluidic cell-based module from TRL4 to TRL6. The fluidic in-vitro module is part of the screening platform within "SABYDOMA". It is intended to flexibly integrate the module into the manufacturing process during product development and manufacturing to provide automated toxicity data.
The "SABYDOMA" project team includes 19 international partners (universities, research centres, SMEs) from 15 countries. The partners come from Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Norway, Portugal, Spain, UK, Ukraine, as well as from Australia, Hong Kong and the Republic of Korea.