Since biological systems present properties guided in the nanometer scale, the potential of nanomaterials in biomedical sciences represents an exciting field with endless opportunities of obtaining novel biomaterials with improved biocompatibility.

Our overall aim is to understand how nanoproperties affect the material biocompatibility in order to develop novel nanomaterials for life science applications.

Current projects:

Towards biocompatible nanocellulose materials for biomedical applications
The overall goal of this project is to bring forward a fundamental understanding of how specific structural parameters of nanocellulose affect its biocompatibility in order to allow the development of novel pharmaceutical and medical products.

Responsible people: Natalia FerrazKai HuaAlex Basu


One of the research areas of the division deals with the safety aspects of nanomaterials. Our national and international projects aim at evaluating the human health toxicological hazard of nanomaterials as well as to develop new classes of nanomaterials with nanosafety as a fundamental part of the development process.

There is unanimous opinion that the full potential of nanotechnology requires attention to safety issues. There is an urgent need to address the current uncertainties on the safety of nanomaterials and nano-enabled products in order to avoid that consumer skepticism and the lack of confidence and acceptance of nanotechnology by the industry hinder the benefits of nanotechnology

Current projects:

This EU project aims at developing innovative methodologies to evaluate and manage human and environmental health risks of nano-enabled products, considering the whole product life cycle. The final goal is to incorporate those developments into an interactive web-based Guidance Tool, which will guide the nano-enabled product developers (mainly industry) into the design and application of the most appropriate risk assessment & mitigation strategy for a specific product.

The consortium is formed by 30 partners from 10 countries and comprises universities, research centers and industrial partners.

Our role in the collaborative project is in the assessment of human health toxicological hazard. The main focus is on in vitro studies with transformed cell lines, evaluating cytotoxicity, cytokine secretion and reactive oxygen species production.


Responsible people: Natalia FerrazViviana Lopes

Turning forestry biomass into sustainable nanocellulose-based materials
This project aims at creating a scientific foundation for the development of a new generation of sustainable and safe nanocellulose (NC)-based products through an interative approach including production and modification of NC, characterization of NC and NC-reinforced composites, and hazard assessments.

This multidisciplinary project is a collaboration between our group, the Department of Fibre and Polymer Technology at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), the Department of Applied Environmental Science at Stockholm University, the institute Innventia, the industrial partners Stora Enso and BioBag and the Swedish nanotechnology network SwedNanoTech.  

Responsible people: Natalia FerrazViviana Lopes