Education and Training Services

Experience taken from our daily work in the laboratory suggests that we have to focus on: Intelligence (which implies education, study, formation, verification, skepticism, criticism, historical perspective etc.) as an overarching dimension of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) . Responsibility requires complex thinking, wide angle analysis and forecasting of consequences. This is why the ultimate aim of this company, of this project, and of all these efforts, is education in all its forms: proper education is the only way we know to become more intelligent than we are, and is central to achieving sustainable progress. 


For these reasons, Applied Nanoparticles is committed to  dissemination, education and training of nanotechnology to both general and specialized public.


We are convinced that for a smooth introduction of nanotechnology in society, openness and education are fundamental factors. For this reason, AppNPs and / or our shareholders are very active in undertaking projects that bring Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (N&N) to society. Among others, we can mention the information service Nanowiki,[1] NanoColoringBook,[2] GoldLight Quantum Jewellery, [3] production and / or sponsoring of general and technical audience books related to N&N,[4] and collaboration with the Barcelona University (UB) Nanodivulga Project, [5] among other. 

We have extensive experience on providing training courses to PhD students whether within  EU FP7 and H2020 ITN Projects (NanoTOES [6], PANDORA [7] and ENDONANO [8] projects) or training courses for various universities Summer Schools and other ad hoc courses. All of them focused on the responsible, safe and sustainable design, synthesis, characterization and handling of nanoparticles,  based on the paradigm of Safer-by-Design.[9] Our aim is that every researcher working with nanoparticles, regardless their field of expertise, becomes a NanoSafey Expert (following the "Pacient-Expert" concept), including  basic knowledge on nanoparticles features that we already know that induce toxicity. 


Winners of 2017 COMPASS Award, an EU-funded project that supports Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in emerging technology industries to manage their research, development and innovation activities in a responsible and inclusive manner.  


Members of NanoSafety Cluster Education and Training Working Group.


Currently, we provide the following courses:


1. Course Title:  The Nanosafety Expert: NP Features that we already know that induce toxicity. (10 lectures, 30h, face-to-face )

Description: Nanosafety by Design consists on encoding safety and sustainability principles and features on the process and products derived from nanotechnology from the earlier stages of design and during their full life cycle. The course will include review of the current literature highlighting which parameters render nanomaterials toxic (cationic charge, aggregation, corrosion, carrying toxic moieties, photocatalysis, impurities, frustrated phagocytosis, imunogen presentation, and hydrophobicity). OECD simple in vitro biology testing (cell viability, DNA damage, membrane damage and oxidative stress) will serve to initially classify materials as provisionally safe. This will provide fellows the grounds and the tools to approach NPs design, production, and use under safer conditions.

Expected outcome: The idea is, in analogy to a patient expert, to provide fellows with basic knowledge on nanotoxicity and nanosafety enough to become a nanosafety expert able to select the safer option available during the design, production, use and disposal phase.


2. Course Title:  RRI in Nanotechnology (5 on-line lectures + 2.5  days face-to-face lectures and activities) 

Description:This course consists of a series of shared on-line lectures with additional resources and activities to reflect on the new acquired knowledge, plus a  2.5 days gathering at Barcelona.  The lectures cover various topics from the traditional R&I Model (The linear model of innovation) and its failure: Is there an alternative innovation model? The RRI Model. A model in which R&I (in disruptive new technologies where the risk is unknown/uncertain) process is based in Forward Looking Responsibility. Taking care for the future consequences of innovation (actual and future generations & the environment). A model that states that science and innovation is always value laden and that the R&I outcomes are responding to societal needs and values (and not for the “neutral” pursue of knowledge). A framework that includes hard visions (R&I as a political tool) and soft visions (EU RRI approach to the governance of science), including Responsible Awareness (the responsibility of researchers), the RRI Procedural Framework and Value Sensitive Design.

Expected outcome: Provision of a series of tools inside and outside the Laboratory are also presented, including green chemistry, good practices, ethical issues concerning scientific research (e.g. use of animals, dealing with fraud by colleagues), communication of scientific results (ethics of publishing and communication).   Note: A tailored and expanded version of this course was successfully lectured to H2020- ITN PANDORA fellows during 2017-19 with very positive feedback from PhD fellows and PIs and praised by the EC Officer Giulana Donini of the Project and EC Expert Reviewer Milena Horvat.


3. Basics of Synthesis and Characterization of Inorganic Nanoparticles Colloids (3 day hands on course with additional resources sent in advance)

Description: The 3 days course will introduce the fellows to the most common synthetic procedures to obtain NPs following as much as possible the principles of safety and sustainability by design and green chemistry along with providing notions on its proper characterization and disposal. Fellows will have the opportunity of understanding the advantages and drawbacks of  different synthetic procedures and the information that can be obtained from each of the most common characterization techniques, among those:  DLS, surface charge, colloidal stability followed by UV-VIS, ICP-MS, TEM, SEM and XRD. The goal is to learn how and why to use each of the different techniques and their combination to obtain the most meaningful results, especially for identifying and assessing the status of NP upon interaction with complex biological and organic matrices.

Expected outcome: Understanding the main concepts of inorganic nanoparticles design, synthesis, characterization and handling with hands on training through various synthesis of metal and metal oxides nanoparticles. Ability to critically evaluate the need, application and use of such methods, their advantages and their limitations. 


[1]Nanowiki information service has been considered among the 10 most influential nanotechnology accounts by Hope Reese from TechRepublic:. 

[2] Coloring book.;