Skip to main content

UTOX and Endor participate in a project that assesses the safety of nanotechnologies

By 14 de April de 2009November 18th, 2020No Comments
< Back to news

UTOX and Endor participate in a project that assesses the safety of nanotechnologies

The Barcelona Science Park has hosted today, April 14, the 2nd General Meeting of the project "Nanosost: aiming towards sustainable, responsible and safe nanotechnology", which aims to guarantee the safe use of nanoparticles and nanostructuring materials, from their production to their disposal. This project, which will establish a consortium comprised of over fifteen members –technological centres, research institutes and companies- and will be coordinated by the Institute of Chemistry of Sarria (IQS-URL), includes the 3 "Health Risks" subproject (SP3). This project is directed by CERETOX "–which consists of the Platform of Experimental Toxicology and Ecotoxicology of the PCB () and the Unit of Toxicology of the UB School of Pharmacy- and the company , which is part of the PCB-Santander Bioincubator.

The objectives of this subproject are to provide a scientifically -based proposal to establish a series of in vivo and in vitro trials that enable toxicological assessment of nanomaterials and vectorization of drugs using nanoparticles, as well as to test some of the proposed strategies, especially in areas where a significant lack of information has been detected, such as in vivo data, toxicity due to repeated doses, genotoxicity, toxicogenomics, environmental toxicology, bioaccumulation in the organism, biomagnification and integrated assessment of ecological and sanitary risk.

Other organizations aside from CERETOX and Endor are involved in this project, such as the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII), LEIA Technological centre, INASMET-Tecnalia Foundation and the company Solutex. CERETOX will be in charge of assessing the toxic potential of nanoparticles that are inhaled or that come into contact with the skin using in vitro studies; LEIA and INASMET will perform the toxicological study using in vitro trials in cell lines of interest, and the ISCIII, together with CERETOX, will carry out the short-term integrated assessment of toxicity and ecotoxicity of nanoparticles in terrestrial and aquatic organisms and determine the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of nanoparticles in the freshwater trophic chain (algae, invertebrates and fish) and in terrestrial organisms (plants, earthworms, fish, mammal and human cells). The final stage will consist of determining possible risks.

Nanosost is integrated within the so-called “Unique and strategic projects” included in the 2008-2011 R+D National Plan, which tackle areas of strategic interest with high growth potential. Nanotechnologies are included within these areas and a great R+D effort is being made in the field. However, due to their novelty and the fast speed at which they are developing, there is a lack of regulation in the product market and in nanotechnological processes and limited availability of information and guidelines regarding these technologies. This fact is a cause for concern in the international community and in the national government, as is expressed in some articles published by the European Commission and other specialized organisms, such as the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) or the American Chemistry Council, and why this project has been launched and initially had a budget of 2.5 million euros for the 2008-2010 period.