A new $2.5 million cleanroom facility has been unveiled at Mintek’s Nanotechnology Innovation Centre (NIC) in Johannesburg, South Africa, which will allow for the manufacture of devices that permit the rapid diagnosis of illnesses such as malaria.
The early diagnosis and treatment of such diseases can help to save lives, and having the cleanroom is a major step towards disease control in South Africa.
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. Cleanrooms also allow the control of other variables, such as temperature, humidity, and pressure.
Commissioned by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) 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 center to produce nanotechnology-based devices and systems that meet the most stringent International Standards Organization requirements. This makes it possible for the NIC to follow good manufacturing practice guidelines and comply with pharmaceutical inspection conventions and cooperation.
Unveiling the facilities, the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, said that the DST was greatly encouraged by the progress government had made since the launch of the National Nanotechnology Strategy in 2005.
“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 realization,” says the Minister.
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.
Release Date: April 8, 2015
Source: Department of Science and Technology