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May 21, 2007

New NSF-Funded Study on Silver Nanoparticles

Lynn L. Bergeson

Two researchers at the University of Missouri — Columbia’s College of Engineering have received an $84,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the potential effects of silver nanoparticles on wastewater treatment systems. According to a university press release, Baolin Deng, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Zhiqiang Hu, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, “will determine how silver nanoparticles interact with bacteria that are used for wastewater treatment.” Already present in a wide range of consumer products, silver nanoparticles enter the wastewater stream when people who have used silver nanoparticle-enhanced products (e.g., cosmetics, bandages) wash themselves. The study is expected to be completed by June 2008.