The assessment of the safety of Nanomaterials (NM) is based on toxicological studies which have to comply with regulatory criteria. Although no nanomaterial-specific effect on e.g. cells has been observed up to now, the distribution of NM within the body - after reception through the lung or the intestine – appears to depend on the particle size and particle surface propperties.
A secondary enrichment of NM, e.g. in cells of the liver, the spleen, the kidney or within the lymphatic system, has already been detected in the forerunner project NanoBioDetect. From these findings the question arises as to a possible health effect of locally enriched NM.
Main goals of the NanoBioQuant project are:
- Development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that are practicable within the nanosafety research. In detail, SOPs for the quantification of nanoparticles (NP) are developed that are compatible with existing routine methods in histopathology. These SOPs will be developed within the framework of animal studies that are in line with the official OECD test guidelines. This approach will allow to generate new toxicological as well as biokinetic data out of existing animal tests. This offers a new and improved option on the identification of organ load on NM, inhomogeneous distribution of NM, and the identification of individual NM-laden cells.
- In order to improve the predictive power of in-vitro methods, the NP-enriching cells will be identified in tissues. Subsequently, the effects of adjusted NP-concentration ranges on the reaction of suitable cell models will be tested. This encompasses cell assays with optimized in vitro dosimetry.
- Within NanoBioQuant, a relevant optimization of the analytical methods is aspired. Particularly, the quantitative detection of NP in biological matrices is goal of the project.