"We should not aim to use nanotechnologies to replace most commonly used materials", said Marco Lazzarino, a researcher at the CNR Institute workshop on materials, talking about the possible applications of this science. Graphene is a good example. "It has excellent properties in terms of mechanical strength, electrical and thermal conductivity - Lazzarino underlined - but it is very expensive. If we wanted to produce a kilogram we would have to invest an amount of capital equal to the entire GDP of China". According to Lazzarino "we cannot use graphene or nanotechnologies to replace existing materials such as concrete and steel, but we can use it to take advantage of their amazing properties" that emerge when a material reduces its size to a few tens of nanometers.
"In this way, by using nanotechnologies, faster computers have been developed, as well as diagnostic systems that are able to simultaneously carry out diagnosis and therapy. Then more efficient catalytic systems have been developed, filters for light and water using nanopores. or chemical sensors which are able to detect the presence of one single molecule of any material, that can be used both in airports, for security, but also to reveal the onset of diseases such as cancer by analyzing the composition of the breath". In general, Lazzarino underlined, "nanotechnologies are not yet so widespread, but when they arrive in massive quantities we will no longer see them because in the meantime the media will be focusing on some new and emerging technologies. At the moment nanotechnologies have stopped being emerging and have begun to be part of everyday life but it will take us a few years to assess their impact".