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Structure-activity relationship modelling of REACH-relevant endpoints to predict the toxicity of engineered nanomaterials

Project description

New models will help nanotechnology deliver benefits without hidden costs

Nanotechnology is based on harnessing the amazing and unique properties some materials can exhibit when they are present as incredibly small constituents, properties that are not seen when these materials are in bulk form. However, the very small dimensions of nanomaterials enable them to cross important barriers in living organisms, raising issues about where they go, how long they stay there, what happens to them over time and what effects they might have. The EU-funded NanoQSAR project is filling an important gap in the effective risk assessment of nanomaterials. The development of advanced quantitative structure–activity relationship models will facilitate the prediction of the physicochemical, biological and environmental fate properties of engineered nanomaterials, significantly enhancing the field of nanotoxicology and human and environmental safety.


Nanotechnology is one of the fastest growing and most promising technologies in our society (Forster et al. 2011), promoting the development a new generation of smart and innovative products and processes that have created tremendous growth potential for a large number of industry sectors such as composites, colouring, ceramics, electronics, nutrition, cosmetics, energy, optics, automotive, as well as numerous other industrial sectors.

Currently, there is a need of ensuring a safe and sustainable development of the nanotechnology, which implies a better understanding of the potential harmful effects that ENMs may have on human´s health or the environment. New paradigms are necessary to identify high concern ENMs and predict relevant endpoints for risk assessment, reducing the cost and
timescale derived from the use of in vivo or in vitro assays.

QSAR approaches have only recently been used to predict biological effects of ENMs, with only few Quantitative Nano- Structure Activity Relationships models described in the literature. The lack of available data explains why there is almost no literature reporting the use of computational modelling techniques applied to ENMs, especially in the area of nanotoxicology. On the other hand, current toxicological regulation, such as the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of
Chemicals (REACH), strongly promotes the use of these predictive modelling.

On the basis of the concept of the project, the main objective of the Nano-QSAR project is to develop new scientifically validated QSARs models to predict REACH relevant toxicological, ecotoxicological and environmental endpoints of a priority list of ENMs such as Metal Oxide Nanoparticles (MOx) and Quantum Dots (QD) on the basis of available literature and own experimental data.


Net EU contribution
€ 172 932,48
46018 Valencia

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Este Comunitat Valenciana Valencia/València
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 172 932,48