Nanotechnology is a rapidly increasing area of industry providing new and innovative solutions into many industrial sectors. The challenge faced by policy makers and the scientific community is that very little is actually known about the health effects of nanoparticles. It is essential that reliable information should be gathered before these particles enter widespread use to avoid potential health problems induced by the exposure to workers and consumers.
The overall goal of this research project is t o characterize features of specific engineered nanoparticles, to the delineate levels of exposure in occupational environments, and to explore health effects of exposure to these particles. Exposure levels will be evaluated under laboratory conditions and in occupational environments. The particles will be characterized with respect to their size distribution, solubility, surface activity, and potential for agglomerate formation. Health effects to be studied include genotoxicity and inflammatory response s. Genotoxicity will be assessed in relevant pulmonary cells measuring DNA and chromosomal damage. Inflammatory responses will be evaluated by measuring alterations in the panorama of pulmonary inflammatory cells as well as expression of biochemical markers of inflammation, i.e. cytokines and chemokines in vivo. To assess the effects on the vasculature, the potential of nanoparticles to induce pro-inflammatory or prothrombotic effects in the microcirculation of experimental animals will be explored.
Assuring the safety of new nanomaterials will be a crucial prerequisite for successful promotion of nanotechnological innovations and their applications in the future. This research aims at creating a reliable and sound foundation for the assessment of safety of nanoparticles, and in this way to the project will have a significant impact on the European capability for conducting research and innovation in the area of nanotechnology.
- FP6-NMP - Nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices: thematic priority 3 under the 'Focusing and integrating community research' of the 'Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area' specific programme 2002-2006.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project