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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

NanoTOES - Project Meeting

On October 26-28 2011, the 12th month project meeting organised by the ICN, will be held at the Centre d'Estudis i Recursos Culturals (CERC) and University of Barcelon (UB)

“Nanotechnology: Training Of Experts in Safety” (NanoTOES) is a Network of Initial Training (ITN) funded within the Marie Curie activities of the 7th Framework Program of the European Union. The network comprises 12 partners in 9 European countries and is coordinated by Albert Duschl, University of Salzburg.It has started on 1. November 2010, will employ 2 postdocs and 11 PhD students, and will run for 4 years.

The purpose of the NanoTOES network is to investigate possible risks of nanomaterials to workers, consumers and the environment, and to train excellent young researchers in the emerging discipline of nanosafety. NanoTOES has 6 major scientific objectives:

Identify mechanisms by which nanomaterials induce cellular stress and immune activation.Correlate size, shape, composition, coating of nanomaterials with defined cellular responses.Distinguish cell-specific from general cellular responses for cells from selected tissues.Identify the relevance of bystander substances and contaminants for nanotoxicity.Analyze the influence of biological compounds and entities on engineered NP.Develop and modify laboratory methods to allow their application in the work-place and in the environment.

Our own group is, in agreement with our overall competences and goals, interested in effects of nanoparticles on the immune system. Many nanomaterial overlap in size range (mostly 10 – 200 nm) with viruses, and they are clearly non-self. For this reason it is not surprising that a number of groups, including our own, have reported interactions between specific nanoparticles and immune cells, which may lead to activation, suppression or deviation of immunity. We are focusing on the development of methods which allow to ensure the safety of nanomaterials, and on understanding molecular mechanisms of interaction between nanomaterials and immunity.

In Europe there are at present around 500 products on the market which contain nanomaterials, while worldwide there are more than 1000. Research into nanosafety is thus an area of intense interest. We appreciate the close cooperations with our NanoTOES partners, listed below.


Meeting program: