The interaction of nanomaterials with biomolecules, cells, and organisms is an enormously vital area of current research, with applications in nanoenabled diagnostics, imaging agents, therapeutics, and contaminant removal technologies. Yet the potential for adverse biological and environmental impacts of nanomaterial exposure is considerable and needs to be addressed to ensure sustainable development of nanomaterials. In this Outlook four research needs for the next decade are outlined: (i) measurement of the chemical nature of nanomaterials in dynamic, complex aqueous environments; (ii) real-time measurements of nanomaterial-biological interactions with chemical specificity; (iii) delineation of molecular modes of action for nanomaterial effects on living systems as functions of nanomaterial properties; and (iv) an integrated systems approach that includes computation and simulation across orders of magnitude in time and space.
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© 2015 American Chemical Society.