Let's talk about lab water
Let's talk about lab water
Every day there are thousands of scientists around the world making use of cutting-edge technologies and pushing the boundaries of science to the limits of detection. Their research helps to develop our understanding of a plethora of processes that govern biological, chemical and physical systems, and enables us to further our perception of the natural world, improve medicine and protect us from unseen dangers.
This series of blogs looks into some of this cutting-edge research, starting off with invisible nanoparticles in the environment.
The world nanotechnology market is expected to exceed $30 billion by the end of 2015 and is now commonplace across industry, often used in the development of a wide range of products that are used by us on a daily basis. Engineered nanoparticles (ENPs), while pushing the capabilities of our technologies forward, could have potentially concerning effects on the environment and human health that should be investigated.
ENPs are typically less than 100 nanometers (nm) in length and can be present in natural water systems at concentration ranges as low as parts per trillion (ppt). The challenge with detecting these minute amounts accurately depends on high grade reagents and advanced analytical equipment. It has been noticed that the behavior of ENPs can be influenced by environmental factors such as pH, salinity and natural organic matter.
Research recently conducted at the National University of Singapore was aimed at better understanding how environmental factors influence the behavior and exposure risks of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs). This research was the first of its kind to look at the contribution of temperature to ZnO NP dissolution under a combination of environmentally relevant conditions using multiparametric methods. It was found that organic acid and pH were the most significant influencers of aggregation and dissolution, as well as temperature-induced effect of aggregation. In an environment where surface water across the Earth appears to be rising, such information is important to model and predicted exposure risks.
If you would like more information on this research then download and read the full Whitepaper. Not only can you find out more about this research on Nanoparticles, but you can also look at other current research which works to the limits of detection.
We would love to hear from you about the similar cutting-edge research that you are doing in your labs. Get in touch with the ELGA Labwater Editorial Team and we may be able to feature your work in the next edition of “The Solution Behind Great Science”.