Smarter toxicity testing for novel nanomaterials

EU-funded researchers are developing tools to analyse and predict the potential toxicity of nanomaterials, addressing scientific, environmental and public health concerns about exposure to these novel tiny particles found in cosmetics and other products.

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Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia


 

Published: 29 October 2018  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
EnvironmentHealth & environment
Health & life sciencesPublic health
Industrial researchNanotechnology
NanotechnologyNanomaterials
Research policyHorizon 2020
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Denmark  |  Finland  |  France  |  Germany  |  Ireland  |  Slovenia  |  Sweden  |  United Kingdom
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Smarter toxicity testing for novel nanomaterials

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© #112086409 | Author: CrazyCloud, 2018 fotolia.com

Nanomaterials are formed of individual particles each measuring around one billionth of a metre – smaller than the diameter of a single strand of human DNA – a scale at which they display unique optical, electronic and mechanical properties.

This makes them invaluable for a variety of modern applications in many industries, including in technology, cosmetics, food and healthcare, where custom-designed nanomaterials are being developed to detect and diagnose genetic and life-threatening diseases. But nanomaterials’ unusual properties can also have inadvertent adverse effects on human cells and organs.

Some common industrial materials such as asbestos or quartz dust are known to cause direct damage to human lungs when inhaled. But the impact of exposure to other nanomaterials can be indirect, delayed and complicated, and many effects remain poorly understood.

SMARTNANOTOX researchers in eight European countries are developing tools and techniques to accurately predict nanotoxicity by identifying the mechanisms associated with interactions between nanomaterials and living organisms.

Through experiments, the team aims to determine the connection between nanomaterial properties and different adverse effects for varying degrees and periods of exposure.

The SMARTNANOTOX team’s systems biology and molecular modelling approach will be supported by statistical analysis and computational models, enabling different types of nanomaterials to be grouped according to their properties and interaction mechanisms.

The data will then be used to generate an accurate scale of the potential toxicity of a nanomaterial without the need for costly and time-consuming testing of each material. As a result, SMARTNANOTOX aims to reduce the need for blanket toxicity testing and animal experiments and improve the assessment of new nanomaterials, enabling development that embraces safety by design.

Project details

  • Project acronym: SMARTNANOTOX
  • Participants: Ireland (Coordinator), Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, Slovenia, United Kingdom
  • Project N°: 686098
  • Total costs: € 7 996 124
  • EU contribution: € 7 996 124
  • Duration: March 2016 to February 2020

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