• Knowledge Base

    Carbon black in tires, quantum dots in LEDs or titanium nitride in PET bottles ...
    Our knowledge base provides information on products and applications of nanomaterials, illuminates health and environmental aspects.

  • News

    News and information around the topic of nanotechnology.

  • Research

    Research regarding the impacts of nanoparticles on people and the environment is needed. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds projects to fill knowledge gaps and to initiate measures to identify and minimize risk.

  • Nano Basics

    Basic information about nanomaterials for humans and the environment.


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Data on new, innovative and safe application related materials


SOPs & Lab Protocols

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In principle, that is true.

The antibacterial effect of silver nanoparticles is known. This is the reason why it is used as a coating for implants or in wound dressings. The effect is based on the release of silver ions, i.e. small, electrically charged particulate matter. Silver nanoparticles have especially good properties, as they have a large surface from which these ions can be released. Scientific studies show that besides the antibacterial effect these ions act as antiviral agents as well. Laboratory tests have shown that they are effective against certain types of corona virus family. Scientists are currently investigating whether this applies to the originator of the disease COVID-19 and are looking into the use of surface coatings with silver nanoparticles in hospitals and public places.


Further information can be found here:


Yes, drugs available in pharmacies, shops, at the doctor's or in hospitals may contain nanoparticulate ingredients because of their specific use to improve or enhance their efficacy. Both nanoparticles and liposomes are used for these purposes (see also "What is the difference between nanoparticles and liposomes?"). The number of drugs containing nanomaterials in the regulatory process is still low. These include, for example, drugs for the treatment of tumour diseases, chronic hepatitis, acromegaly (giant growth), multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) with elevated LDL-C values or type 2 diabetes (see also or crosscutting text "Nanomedicine").

In addition to the active ingredient, drugs also contain fillers and additives such as water, starch, vaseline or highly dispersed silicon dioxide. Due to the production process, silicon dioxide nanoparticles may also be generated.
At present, pharmaceutical manufacturers are not obliged to label nanoscale ingredients in their medicines.

Further information can be found on the following websites of the European Medicines Agency (EMA)

No, they do not. All chemicals including those used to enhance textile fibres are subject to the European chemicals legislation (REACH) or even stricter regulations such as the biocides' regulation and have to be approved in this context. Textiles for normal use in everyday life have neither to be tested nor approved by anyone.


  • Further information on this topic "nano in textiles" can be found in our cross-cutting section!!!


Safety and potential risks of nanomaterials is a big research topic both on a national and international level. Our projects' section together with the project landscape offers a good overview on the involved German actors from the BMBF-funded nanosafety research projects (funding initiatives NanoCare, NanoNature, ERA-Net SIINN). Further sources of information are e.g. the competency maps on nanotechnologies, the Environmental Research Database UFORDAT or the links section on the DaNa website. The links section lists relevant national and international networks dealing with nanotechnology topics, e.g. the European network NanoSafetyCluster.



In sunscreens, two different filter types are used for UV protection: (1) chemical UV filters, which absorb the UV radiation and emit it with less energy; (2) mineral UV filters, which reflect the UV radiation thereby protecting the skin. Both types may be present in their nano-form. The first group contains two organic compounds, MBBT and TBPT, as insoluble nanoparticles which absorb UV-light. Titanium dioxide (chem. TiO2) and zinc oxide (chem. ZnO) belong to the group of mineral UV filters. These nanoscaled materials do not form any white film on the skin surface, which is preferred for aesthetic reasons by many users. In addition, especially the mineral UV filters in nanoform allow the realisation of very high sun protection factors (SPF factors >30) without having to use additional chemical components.

update 10/2018


Current Research

Graphene interlayer © bonninturina / fotolia.com

Information on the sponsorship programmes of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research on nanotechnologies for humans and the environment.


Knowledge Base

nano © eccolo / fotolia.com

A database with important and generally understandable aspects on health and environment of applied nanomaterials as well as facts on the safety of manufactured nanomaterials.


Nano Basics

Graphene © arsdigital / fotolia.com

The chapters on release, exposure, uptake and behavior of nanomaterials in the human body and in the environment as well as the risk assessment will give you a first overview.



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