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Novel approach to toxicity testing of nanoparticles mimicing lung exposure. Possible protective effect of omega-3 acids


As nanotechnology and materials science have progressed, large quantities of engineered nanoparticles (NPs) have been produced. NPs promise to revolutionize our lifestyles by improving many industrial and consumer products. However, there is considerable concern about their unknown impact on human health: with their unique physicochemical properties (size less than 100 nm), NPs differ from the corresponding bulk material. Here we address the urgent need to determine the potential effects of NPs on human health and environmental safety. Our objectives are: a) To develop and optimize a novel approach to in vitro NP testing using an epithelial cell culture model that mimics in vivo interactions of particles with cells; b) To study mechanisms of NP toxicity using cardiovascular/cardiopulmonary cell models to identify specific markers of oxidative stress and their role in activating signal pathways associated with the inflammatory response, DNA damage and repair; c) To investigate protection by omega-3 fatty acids against inflammatory effects of NPs, and possible modulation of DNA repair, in an in vitro model. This research will provide information on mechanisms of action of metal oxide NPs, and specifically on their effect on risk of cardiovascular/cardiopulmonary diseases. The results will contribute to protecting European public health, and will be crucially important for formulating policy on safety of nanotechnology. The ambitious research tasks provide an excellent opportunity for the career development of Dr. Rinna in this new field. By developing innovative techniques mimicking in vivo conditions, carrying out experiments on potential NP toxicity, and investigating how cells and DNA can be protected against injury, she will acquire an impressive range of expertise. By supervising master and co-supervising PhD students, she will improve her management and teaching skills and thus establish a base for a longer term position as a research team leader in Norway

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Instituttveien 18
2027 Kjeller

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Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Maria Dusinska (Dr.)
EU contribution
€ 204 568