Successful completion of the EU Graphene Flagship

Graphene research: numerous products, no acute dangers

The largest EU research initiative ever launched has come to a successful end: The Graphene Flagship was officially concluded at the end of last year. Empa researchers were also involved, such as molecular biologist Peter Wick, who was part of the Health and Environment work package from the very beginning – and has just summarized the findings in this area with international colleagues in a comprehensive review article in the specialist journal ACS Nano.

Professor Dr. Peter Wick

Peter Wick, derzeit Dozent am Departement Gesundheitswissenschaften und Technologie an der ETH Zürich sowie Abteilungsleiter «Particles-Biology Interactions» an der Empa, wurde zum Titularprofessor der ETH Zürich ernannt. Wick forscht an der Schnittstelle zwischen Materialwissenschaft und Gesundheit, insbesondere im Bereich Sicherheit von Nanomaterialien und Nanomedizin. Der international anerkannte Experte war unter anderem Mitglied der Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force sowie Berater im «Aktionsplan Synthetische Nanomaterialien» für das Bundesamt für Gesundheit.

All about masks

Our contribution to the Covid-19 pandemic

Nanomed 2021 in St.Gallen/ Switzerland

We are happy to announce that we will organize the Nanomedicine conference in St.Gallen/ Switzerland from 7th - 9th September 2021.

Nanoplastics – an underestimated problem?

The images leave no one cold: giant vortices of floating plastic trash in the world's oceans with sometimes devastating consequences for their inhabitants – the sobering legacy of our modern lifestyle. Weathering and degradation processes produce countless tiny particles that can now be detected in virtually all ecosystems. But how dangerous are the smallest of them, so-called nanoplastics? Are they a ticking time bomb, as alarming media reports suggest? In the latest issue of the journal Nature Nanotechnology, a team from Empa and ETH Zurich examines the state of current knowledge – or lack thereof – and points out how these important questions should be addressed. more

Fighting harmful bacteria with nanoparticles

Multi-resistant pathogens are a serious and increasing problem in today's medicine. Where antibiotics are ineffective, these bacteria can cause life-threatening infections. Researchers at Empa and ETH Zurich are currently developing nanoparticles that can be used to detect and kill multi-resistant pathogens that hide inside our body cells. The team published the study in the current issue of the journal Nanoscale. more

"Crucial results for corona vaccination strategy"

Efforts are being made worldwide to combat the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Vaccines and protective masks are of prime importance. Empa researcher Peter Wick, Head of the Particles-Biology Interactions Laboratory in St. Gallen, talks to Empa Quarterly about recent antibody studies, which are crucial for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, and the next generation of textile protective materials that inactivate or even kill corona viruses. more

Nanosafety research without animal testing

In order to reduce the number of animal experiments in research, alternative methods are being sought. This is a particular challenge if the safety of substances that have hardly been studied is to be ensured, for instance, the completely new class of nanomaterials. To accomplish just that, Empa researchers are now combining test tube experiments with mathematical modelling. more

How to assure high-quality masks

Empa researchers have worked with the Swiss textile industry to develop technologies and quality standards for textile masks. Hence so-called community masks can now be produced in Switzerland. more

Babies burdened by environmental estrogens in mothers' wombs

Early childhood life in the womb is particularly sensitive to the effects of environmental pollutants. A team from Empa and the University of Vienna has now for the first time been able to show how a pollutant from contaminated food - the environmental estrogen zearalenone - spreads in the womb and is metabolized into harmful metabolites. more

Wissenschaftsmagazin SRF: Ist Graphene, der vielgepriesene "Wunderstoff", gefährlich?


Our lab's contribution to the discussion of Graphene can be listened to here

(starts at 15min 50s)

On the road to safe nanomedicine

Tiny particles that can fight cancer or that can easily pass through any interface within our body are a great promise for medicine. But there is little knowledge thus far about what exactly will happen to nanoparticles within our tissues and whether or not they can cause disease by themselves. Within an international research consortium, Empa scientists have now developed guidelines that should enable the safe development of nanoparticles for medical use. more

Best Poster Award Clinam 2018 for Cordula Hirsch

Cordula Hirsch, Scientist at the Laboratory for Particles-Biology Interactions and collaborators from Korean Research Institute for Science and Standards (KRISS) as well as EPFL received the Best Poster Award for the Poster 'Interference of Engineered Nanomaterials in Flow Cytometry: A Case Study' at the International Conference of Nanotoxicology 2018 in Neuss (Germany) September 18 to 21, 2018. Congratulations!

At the Swiss Nano Convention 2018, a new initiative designed to assist the transfer from invention to innovation has been revealed., an independent, national platform will pool the scientific and regulatory knowledge and expertise on the safe handling of synthetic nanomaterials available in Switzerland.

Medication for the unborn child

Our team has succeeded in developing a new three-dimensional cell model  of the human placental barrier. The "model organ" can quickly and reliably deliver new information on the intake of substances, such as nano-particles, by the placental barrier and on any possible toxic effects for the unborn child. This knowledge can also be used in the future for the development of new approaches to therapy during pregnancy. more

Kick-Off KTI-GoNanoBioMat

link to homepage

10th European Placenta Perfusion Workshop

We hosted the 10th European Placenta Perfusion Workshop at Empa in St.Gallen. The workshop was a great success!

Best Poster Award to Tina Bürki

The Empa Particles@Barrier group head by Tina Bürki, Particles-Biology Lab, won the Best Poster Award at the 10th CLINAM Submit for their work ‘A novel organotypic 3D microtissue model to assess nanoparticle uptake and effects at the human placental barrier’. This international conference gathered world-leading scientists in the field of clinical nano- and targeted medicine to discuss novel concepts in medicine and their translation to the clinics. We cordially congratulate.

Empa Innovation Award 2016

Congratulations to Cordula Hirsch from our lab for receiving the Empa Innovation Award together with Gaan Sabyasachi and his team! Well done!

Matthias Rösslein awarded

Matthias Rösslein, Senior Scientist of the Particles-Biology Interactions Laboratory has been awarded by the Materials Measurement Laboratory (MML) Accolades Program of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for his work elaborated together with Marc Salit (NIST) ‘providing tools to enable confidence and reliability in genome-scale gene expression measurements crucial to disease diagnosis and treatment’. This award is created to recognize exemplary work of individuals or teams in areas of high strategic interest and benefit to MML and NIST. ‘Our Associates are fundamental to the success of our projects and we look forward to continued cooperation with Empa.’ stated Dr. Laurie Locascio, Director of the Materials Measurement Laboratory NIST.

Best Poster at CLINAM

The Empa Particles@Barrier group head by Tina Bürki, Particles-Biology Lab, won the Best Poster Award at the 9th  CLINAM Submit for their work ‘Studying nanoparticles translocation and effects at the human placenta barrier using ex vivo and advanced in vitro model systems’. This international conference gathered world-leading scientists in the field of clinical nano- and targeted medicine to discuss novel concepts in medicine and their translation to the clinics. We cordially congratulate!

Opening of KRISS Joint Research Office

The cooperation between Empa and the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS) in the field of nano-safety research has been intensified further by the inauguration of a KRISS “branch” in St. Gallen. On 23 July last year, Empa CEO Gian-Luca Bona and KRISS Vice-President Hyun Min Park signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a closer collaboration between the two institutes.


SRF: Einstein

Unser Beitrag in der Fernsehsendung Einstein vom 28. Januar 2016

Training in the US

EU-NCL visits NCL in the US

NanoMat 2D


We are organizing an international symposium on the topic “2D Nano-Materials” with focus on:

  • synthesis and properties of 2D materials
  • regulation, standardization and safety
  • applications and industry perspectives

Nanoparticles- invisble threat?

Our contribution to Empa News October 2015:

Gone with the wind

Shuttle service through the placenta

Launch of first European nanomedicine characterization lab

Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, is part of the «European Nanomedicine Characterization Laboratory», a European project funded by the EU framework program «Horizon 2020». Its goal is ...