NUI Galway Researcher to Lead €5-million EU Project for Nanomaterial Analysis

Professor Alan Ryder, who leads the Nanoscale Biophotonics Laboratory based in the School of Chemistry at NUI Galway. Photo by Andrew Downes.
May 08 2020 Posted: 10:03 IST

The Nanoscale Biophotonics Laboratory (NBL) at NUI Galway will lead a major new €5 million project to develop and deploy new Process Analytical technologies (PAT) tools for the online measurement and analysis of industrially relevant nanoparticles.

The project, PAT4Nano (Process Analytical Technology Tools for Real-Time Physical and Chemical Characterization of Nanosuspensions) is funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Research and Innovation Actions.  

The PAT4Nano project begins this month and will be coordinated by NUI Galway’s Professor Alan G. Ryder, and consists of five industrial partners from Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK, with three research partners from Ireland, the Netherlands, and Germany. 

Nanosuspensions are a critical material type found in everything from pharmaceuticals, to inks, paints, and fine chemicals used in advanced manufacturing.  The accurate measurement of nanosuspensions and the size of nanoparticles is critical for efficient manufacturing processes and ultimately the performance of materials.  PAT4Nano aims to develop tools to enable the continuous, rapid, and reliable measurement of nanoparticles to facilitate the more efficient, less costly, and accurate manufacture of nanomaterials. 

In PAT4Nano the consortium end user partners, are working on diverse applications in pharmaceuticals, inks/pigments, and materials for catalysis, batteries, and glass manufacture.  One specific example of where nanoparticles play an important role is for some pharmaceutical drugs where the size and characteristics of nanoparticles can be used to produce more effective therapies. 

The project is unique in that the end users of the PAT4Nano technologies will be working in very close collaboration with both technology providers and research centres to produce the best solutions which can be deployed in a manufacturing environment.

Professor Alan Ryder, who leads the Nanoscale Biophotonics Laboratory based in the School of Chemistry at NUI Galway, said: “PAT4Nano is an exemplary, interdisciplinary, industry-academic partnership which aims to solve challenging issues with the online, rapid measurement of nanoparticles which affects the manufacture of a wide range of advanced materials like therapeutic drugs, additives for glass and battery manufacture, to inks, and even biologics like vaccines."


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