For practical use, the solubility conversion method allows for modification of a nanoparticle in one solvent prior to use in a second solvent. This will open new avenues to nanoparticle assembly, modification and biofunctionalization. These materials will be useful in several applications including the design of biosensors and in studying membrane–protein interactions. Furthermore, this route has already been shown to be an effective method of preparing water-soluble nanoparticles of narrow-dispersity.

Reed group

There is an emerging need for synthetic routes that produce non-toxic nanomaterials especially for nanoparticles being considered for use in medical applications. By synthesizing nanoparticles using benign building blocks, the likelihood of toxicity caused by impurities or decomposition products can be reduced. Lipids obtained from inexpensive renewable feedstock are ideal benign building blocks for the synthesis of greener nanomaterials. The toxicity of these and other nanoparticles are being assessed using screens available through the Safer Nanomaterials and Nanomanufacturing Initiative. By learning what properties influence toxicity it will be possible to further improve the syntheses.