What is nanoinformatics?


Nanoinformatics is the intersection of computer science and nanotechnology. This interdisciplinary topic explores approaches and online tools to better understand nanomaterials, their properties and their relationships to biological organisms.

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Nanoinformatics is required for the intelligent development and comparative characterization of nanomaterials via detection and fabrication techniques. Nanoinformatics increases scientific discovery and learning through the use of data mining and machine learning.

Nanoinformatics background

Unlike regular chemicals, nanomaterials have additional physical properties that need to be measured to fully describe their chemical structure and content. In addition, formulations of nanoparticles are often inconsistent, which requires the description of property distributions. These molecular qualities influence their macrobiochemical, physiological and ecological aspects.

They are crucial for both scientific and computational characterization of nanoparticles. Nanoinformatics is therefore an area that combines information on health, safety, well-being and efficiency with risk management and the development of nanotechnology.

History of Nanoinformatics

The First World Conference on the Occupational Health Implications of Nanostructured Materials, held 12-14 October 2004 at the Palace Hotel, Buxton, Derbyshire, UK. It was an important global seminar with a meaningful debate on the need to communicate all kinds of information about nanotechnology and nanomaterials.

The term “nanoinformatics” was coined in 2010 by a research group of scientists called Nanoinformatics 2010.

The committee was compelled to assess the interdisciplinary nature of this research area as well as the continuous expansion of its definition to reflect the development of new technologies, tools, and techniques. The Nanoinformatics Seminar 2015 supported the “Nanoinformatics Road Map 2020” as the most comprehensive approach.

Applications of nanoinformatics

In basic research, in trade and in the environmental sector, nanoinformatics can quickly evaluate huge amounts of data. Nanoinformatics is used to identify and treat cancer, health and environmental problems, and to study nanoparticle-drug structures.

It plays an important role in the research, development and manufacture of nanoparticles. It can also be used to record and analyze experimental test results from the administration of nanoparticles to various environmental and physical targets and situations.

Nanoinformatics in nanomedicine

Nanotechnologists began researching nanomaterials for medicine over a decade ago, and this investigation revealed several obstacles and opportunities. Some of these obstacles are directly related to computer science, such as B. the management and integration of heterogeneous data, the development of nomenclatures, ontologies and taxonomies for different nanomaterials and the exploration of novel modeling and simulation methods for nanoparticles.

Challenges in the field of nanoinformatics

Computational chemistry, artificial intelligence, and machine learning can link structural properties with functional aspects of nanomaterials. However, this is not an easy task.

Machine learning was designed for huge data sets with few consistent features. Typically, nanomaterial datasets are limited, computationally complex, and have many biases.

Influence of nanoinformatics

The body of data on nanoparticle toxicity is increasing, suggesting that a variety of characteristics can interact and influence the magnitude, behavior, and environmental and health impacts of adverse outcomes — as well as the effectiveness of existing therapies.

According to preliminary findings from in-vitro studies, the type, quantity and administration technique of nanoparticles can have a variety of effects on applications.

Nanoinformatics, or research into the processes and consequences of nanoscale materials, is the most pressing topic in nanomedical engineering today. This requires managing this data and linking it to individual patient data.

Continue reading: Advancing Nano-Imaging with 2D Materials

References and further reading

Panneerselvam, S. and Choi, S., (2014) Nanoinformatics: New Databases and Available Tools. International Journal of Molecular Sciences15(5), pp. 7158-7182. https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/15/5/7158

Afantitis, A., Melagraki, G., Isigonis, P., Tsoumanis, A., Varsou, DD, Valsami-Jones, E. & Lynch, I. (2020) NanoSolveIT Project: Promoting Nanoinformatics Research to Develop Innovative and integrated tools for in silico nanosafety assessment. Journal of Computational and Structural Biotechnology, 18583-602. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2001037019305112?via%3Dihub

Kulikowski, CA (2002). The micro-macro spectrum of challenges in medical informatics: from molecular medicine to the transformation of healthcare in a globalized society. Information methods in medicine, 41(01), 20-24. DOI: https://www.thieme-connect.de/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-0038-1634308

De la Iglesia D, Harper S, Hoover MD, Klaessig F, Lippell P, Maddux B & Tuominen MT (2011). Roadmap nanoinformatics 2020. https://zenodo.org/record/1486012

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