Modelling environmental risks and conceptualising ‘Responsible Innovation’ for nanotechnology enabled medical applications

Mahapatra, Indrani (2016). Modelling environmental risks and conceptualising ‘Responsible Innovation’ for nanotechnology enabled medical applications. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Medical products based on nanomaterials can revolutionise disease diagnosis and management modalities via faster, non-invasive diagnostic techniques and targeted therapeutic delivery and will be used extensively in coming years. The central goal of this thesis was to understand environmental risks that could potentially arise from mass production and wider use of nanotechnology enabled medical products and to gather insights from experts’ perceptions on “Responsible Innovation”. The research presented here uses a mixed methods approach to answer the research questions. By applying probabilistic mass flow modelling concept, prospective environmental concentrations of nanomedicine was estimated and a preliminary environmental risk assessment was done using gold nanoparticles in medical applications (potential of commercialisation and marketed) as a case study. This demonstrated that environmental risks from gold nanoparticles for the two major compartments (sludge applied soil and water) is likely to be minimal in the near future. The second component of the research involved 38 interviews with academics and 28 interviews with representatives from regulatory bodies, industry and funding bodies to understand their perceptions on environmental hazards and risks from nanomedicine and their views on the meaning of the concept of “Responsible Innovation”. This revealed that risks from nanomedicine can be compared with risks from existing chemicals and that “Responsible Innovation” is a phrase which can be discussed based on an individual’s experience and discipline.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Funders: Other
Other Funders: The University of Birmingham
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
T Technology > T Technology (General)
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)


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