Nanoparticles, their potential risks for human health and perspectives on their responsible application, was the topic of a DWIH Science Circle Lecture by Prof. Dr. Eckart Rühl, head of Freie Universität Berlin’s Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry. The lecture took place in the library of Max Mueller Bhavan in Mumbai on October 29th, 2018. In his lecture, Prof. Rühl put into perspective some of the possible health hazards posed by nanoparticles and assessed the possibility of making targeted use of them. Prof. Rühl, who has been, amongst others, the speaker of a large DFG-funded Collaborative Research Center “Nanocarriers: Architecture, Transport and Topical Application of Drugs for Therapeutic Use”, pointed out how the size-dependent electronic, optical and magnetic properties of nanoparticles can be exploited. He showed how applications reach from technology to medical use in therapy and diagnostics – for example in order to be able to cure skin diseases better.
“The lecture gave us a vivid example of how research done at universities can lead to practical benefits in reality”, mentioned Heike Mock, Director of the German Centre for Research and Innovation New Delhi. This being the first ever DWIH Science Circle Lecture in Mumbai, it attracted the interest of senior scholars and young researchers from renowned institutions like the IIT Bombay, a close partner of Freie Universität Berlin, as well as the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), the Institute of Chemical Technology Mumbai and Mumbai University. Max Mueller Bhavan in South Mumbai proved to be a perfect venue for this event co-organized by Freie Universität Berlin’s Liaison Office New Delhi and DWIH New Delhi with support from the Consulate General Mumbai. The event was the first in a series of lectures Prof. Rühl gave later on at IIT Bombay as well as at TIFR and IISER Pune. “It is inspiring to see the academic excellence of research institutions here and to witness the scientific curiosity of students”, remarked Prof. Rühl, who has been a frequent visitor to India in the past years.