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The Migration of Engineered Nanomaterials Out of Nanotechnology-Enabled Polymers and into Foods and Other Environments: Nano Seminar Series

November 5, 2021 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Timothy V Duncan, PhD, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Food Processing Science and Technology
This talk will be changed to a zoom meeting at this url:
Polymer nanocomposites (PNCs) are an emerging class of materials in which nanoscale fillers are dispersed within a polymer. PNCs have attracted considerable interest as base materials for next generation food packaging, medical devices, and other consumer product applications. To better understand the potential for humans to be exposed to engineered nanomaterials from PNCs, there is a need to understand the quantity and form of dispersed nanofillers that may transfer into nearby environments, including foods, during product lifecycles. Relationships between nanofiller structure/composition, host polymer properties, environmental chemistry, and the fate of nanomaterials dispersed in plastics especially need to be better understood.
This talk will present FDA’s most recent efforts to study potential human exposure to engineered nanomaterials from model packaging materials incorporating nanotechnology. Topics presented include: fabrication and characterization of PNCs, chemical analysis of foods and beverages for transferred nanomaterials during simulated storage conditions, mass transport physics within polymers, and nanoparticle transformation phenomena in relevant environments.
The impact of this research will be discussed within the broader context of FDA’s mission to protect and promote public health.
Tim Duncan did his PhD in physical/inorganic chemistry at Penn as well as a postdoc focused on single-molecule spectroscopy and novel bio-imaging agents. Since 2009 he has been a research scientist and primary investigator at the FDA’s Division of Food Processing Science and Technology, where he studies the health and environmental safety of nanotechnology-enabled food contact materials and develops nanosensors intended to improve the Agency’s ability to rapidly respond to foodborne disease outbreaks.


November 5, 2021
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Zoom Session