B Impact of Advanced Materials on Human Health and the Environment
Certain material properties and molecular mechanisms ifluence the cell-material-interaction. Project B aims at identifying those material properties and mechanisms, as well as the impact of advanced materials on (biochemical) functions of human cells and environmental organisms. Our partners’ combined expertise and techniques allows us to localise materials in cells while simultaneously detecting cell responses. The results will feed back into Project A as a foundation for developing Safe-by-Design strategies.
Toxicological Concepts for Hazard Assessment
Interactions between cells and materials have to be analysed on several levels for a thorough alaysis of the safety of advanced materials. Modern toxicological concepts correlate adverse effects on organs, organisms or populations with how material properties affect cells and tissues (Adverse Outcome Pathway, AOP). Once established, AOPs enable predictions of harmful effects by use of simplified models and detection of specific key events. In this context, alternative and advanced in vitro testing methods (see also Project A) are gaining more and more importance.1 2
Systematic Analysis of the Consequences for Aquatic Organisms
In addition to human health, advanced materials can also affect environmental organisms if the materials or their components are released into the environment. Polymer particles in particular, which degrade over time to micro and eventually nanoplastics, are known to accumulate in aquatic ecosystems and especially also in attached organisms (protozoa, animals, plants).3 Nanoparticles are also expected to accumulate, as shown for TiO2 from sunscreen.4 However, how the organisms take up and incorporate the particles and what consequences this has for the organisms has not yet been systematically studied.5