November 27, 2023

Amsterdam Science Park’s researcher Olivier Lugier wins Amsterdam Science & Innovation Awards 2023 for sustainable nanoparticle production

Amsterdam Science & Innovation Awards 2023: Unveiling groundbreaking advancements including an implant combating pelvic floor prolapse, a breath sensor for laughing gas, and an eco-friendly approach to nanoparticle production. Researcher Olivier Lugier (UvA), from the Amsterdam Science Park, was one of the winners with his groundbreaking innovation, Nano Hybrids.

Zeliha Guler, Pepijn van Rutten and Olivier Lugier receive each 10,000 euros to further develop their idea and go to market.

The innovation awards are an initiative by the Innovation Exchange Amsterdam (IXA), purporting to  award innovative ideas from young scientists whom are all affiliated with the Amsterdam universities and knowledge institutions. After a short live pitch by the nine finalists, the jury judged the innovativeness of the ideas, the societal benefit, and if they can be developed commercially.

Olivier Lugier (UvA at Amsterdam Science Park, category Environment & Climate), and Stefania Grecea have developed Nano Hybrids, a more sustainable technology for the production of nanoparticles. These extremely small materials can revolutionize industries with a major social impact, such as sustainable energy. The innovation makes the production of nanoparticles significantly more environmentally friendly.

Zeliha Guler (Amsterdam UMC, category Health), developed an innovative degradable implant for a much more effective treatment of pelvic organ prolapse, with fewer complications. An average of one in four women will experience prolapse. The chance of prolapse increases to 60%, as women get older and have given birth vaginally.

The award in the category of Society was presented to Pepijn van Rutten (VU) from team Respira, who are developing the world’s first, sensitive and reliable breath sensor for laughing gas detection. In contrast to alcohol and other drugs, there has not been a good way, until now, for the authorities to detect laughing gas abuse by drivers.


Featured: Nano Hybrids and its applicability

Nanomaterials are extremely small materials with unique properties due to their size. They are said to revolutionize many technological fields with high societal impact, like sustainable energy, catalysis and biomedicine. The problem is that their synthesis methods are often complex and polluting, which limits their deployment out of laboratories. Nano Hybrids is developing solutions in the form of a technology that produces hybrid core-shell nanoparticles. Sustainable by design, Nano Hybrids’ objective is to simplify and reduce the environmental impact of nanoparticle synthesis so that other innovators can be provided with these amazing materials to find solutions to big societal challenges. Check the video below.

How could we apply nanohybrids?

There are a number of possible applications you can think of for Nano Hybrids:

Sustainable energy generation:
Nanomaterials can be used in energy storage and conversion technologies. For instance, hybrid core-shell nanoparticles could potentially be applied in efficient solar cells or as catalysts in fuel cells. Companies focusing on sustainable energy generation can benefit from this technology to enhance and greenify their products.

Catalysis in the chemical industry:
The unique properties of nanoparticles make them suitable as catalysts. Companies in the chemical industry can use hybrid core-shell nanoparticles in catalytic processes for chemical production. This green synthesis can help reduce the environmental impact of chemical processes.

Biomedical applications:
Nanoparticles find applications in the biomedical sector, such as drug delivery, imaging, and diagnostics. Nano Hybrids’ technology can facilitate the production of biocompatible nanoparticles, which is relevant for companies involved in pharmaceutical research and the development of medical devices.

Environmentally friendly packaging:
Nanoparticles can be used to improve packaging materials. Nano Hybrids’ technology could enable companies to develop more environmentally friendly packaging solutions with enhanced properties such as barrier properties and biodegradability.

Water purification:
Nanoparticles can be applied in water purification systems. The green synthesis approach of Nano Hybrids can help companies develop effective and environmentally friendly methods for water purification.

Research and development:
Companies engaged in research and development can benefit from the accessibility of high-quality nanomaterials produced by Nano Hybrids. This can lead to innovations in various sectors, such as electronics, coatings, and more.

The ultimate goal of Nano Hybrids is to make nanoparticle synthesis more accessible to other companies, fostering innovation and increasing the deployment of nanotechnology in different sectors. Companies involved in research, development, and manufacturing in the mentioned sectors can benefit from this green synthesis technology.

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