Nanotechnology: South Africa: New Lab to Help Combat Deadly Diseases; Clean Water; Renewable Energy

South Africa II nanotechnology-india-brazil_26Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor yesterday unveiled a R30 million “cleanroom” facility at Mintek’s Nanotechnology Innovation Centre (NIC) in Johannesburg.

The facility allows for the manufacture of devices that permit the rapid diagnosis of illnesses such as malaria.

The department explained that so-called cleanrooms are essential for the fabrication and production of advanced devices and systems that require the concentration of airborne particles to be controlled to ensure that processes are not compromised by unwanted and/or unknown contaminants.South Africa Department-of-Science-and-Technology-DST

Cleanrooms also allow the control of other variables, such as temperature, humidity and pressure.

Commissioned by the department last December, the facility is designed to enable the NIC and South Africa’s researchers to develop and fabricate nanotechnology-based diagnostic devices and tools for application in health and the containment of biological reagents.

The facility will also enable the centre to produce nanotechnology-based devices and systems that meet the most stringent International Standards Organisation requirements.

According to the department, this makes it possible for the NIC to follow good manufacturing practice guidelines and comply with pharmaceutical inspection conventions and cooperation.

Unveiling the facility, Minister Pandor said the department was greatly encouraged by the progress government had made since the launch of the National Nanotechnology Strategy in 2005.

South Africa NIC banner-06022012-300x165“When we launched the strategy, we set ourselves ambitious goals in respect of the provision of clean water, clean and reliable energy, and improved health care. We are committed to doing this cost-effectively, and we remain committed to these goals and focused on their realisation,” said Minister Pandor.

The Minister added that reliable research equipment and research chairs in the field would enhance the generation of nanotechnology knowledge and nanotechnology innovation in South Africa. –


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