Oxford physicist at the European Parliament on improving healthcare with nanotech

20 June 2020

Professor Sonia Contera’s book, Nano comes to life, is a study of how and why nanotechnology is transforming medicine and the future of biology and, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the topic is the subject of a workshop at the European Parliament.

Professor Contera from Oxford’s Department of Physics is leading the panel discussing some of the ideas and predictions of her book, alongside Prof Laura Lechuga from the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Maurizio Salvi from the European Commission and Roxanne Giesen from CentERdata. They will be looking at how the latest developments in nanotechnology are transforming biology and medicine; how nanotechnology is being used to fight the coronavirus as well as future pandemics; and to discuss consumer perception of nanotechnology as well as responsible research and innovation in Europe.

'In my lab we develop nanoscale tools to study basic physics underpinning biology in health and disease,' explains Professor Contera, 'but we also work on applications, for example a collaboration with Osaka University to develop graphene sensors for simple and accurate detection of viruses, and monitoring effect of antiviral drugs. The pandemic has intensified the need for accurate sensing technology in health care. I hope our discussions in this workshop will contribute to making a strong case for the transformative role that physics at the interface of nanotech and medicine can play for the development of key medical technologies.'

The workshop is hosted by the European Parliament’s Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and will take place at 2.30pm on 25 June 2020. Visit the website for more information and to register.