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Projects. Life and Matter Sciences

Towards a new paradigm in the identification of hazards and evaluation of the safety and risk of neurotoxicity associated to the exposure to nanomaterials with biotechnological applications

Lead Researcher: Miguel Ángel Sogorb Sánchez
Research Centre: Instituto de Bioingeniería. Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche.


Miguel Ángel Sogorb SánchezNanotechnology offers numerous biotechnological applications that promise to substantially improve social welfare in many important fields (biomedicine, food industry, cosmetics, etc.) and to be a source of economic growth. It has been proven that nanomaterials can cause cytotoxicity, oxidative stress and inflammation, which could be the beginning of neurodegeneration processes. This project proposes to break the paradigm of the nanomaterials' assessment case by case studying molecular mechanisms of neurotoxicity and establishing a collection of biomarkers of adverse effect.

The nanomaterials to be used in this project as models are TiO2, ZnO2, Ag and quantum dots. The cellular model to be used is T98G. T98G cells have been chosen because numbers toxic effects of nanomaterials on glia cells have been described and are a line of human origin, which will produce results directly applicable to humans without the need of further inter-species extrapolations.

Alterations in the transcriptome of T98G cells caused by exposure to concentrations of nanomaterials that reduce cellular viability by less than 10% will be determined. These transcriptomic alterations will help to determine the adverse outcome pathways for nanomaterial-induced neurotoxicity.

Finally, adverse outcome pathways will offer a set of gene and protein biomarkers that will allow to group nanomaterials according to common mechanisms of neurotoxicity for assessing their safety together, allowing the break of the established paradigm of assess nanomaterials' safety case by case, gaining velocity and saving costs in the process of transference among laboratories designing the applications based on nanomaterials and the society.

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