Building bridges between specialists on computational and empirical risk assessment of engineered nanomaterials

Elena Mokshina (PCI) in Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) in Liverpool

??????????I visited the Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) in Liverpool, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, between 05.02.2013 and 05.04.2013 as a part of several Work Packages: WP 1 “Gathering the existing experimental data on nanoparticles”, WP 3: “Development of novel structural descriptors for nanoparticles”, WP 4: “Development of new NanoQSAR methodologies”.

The possibility to participate in cutting-edge science is always important to young scientist, and the field of nano-material science has indeed “plenty rooms in the bottom”. Our main aims were to collect data on toxicity of nanoparticles, define factors that influence the aquatic toxicity of nanoparticles and develop nano-QSAR models able to describe nanotoxicity. Massive of data for aquatic toxicity to Dapnia magna and Paramecium multimicronucleatum was collected. The novel physical descriptors for metal oxide nanoparticles were developed on the basis of surface-area-difference model (SAD). SAD descriptors give one opportunity to estimate particle’s cohesive energy. Finally, as conclusive result of the work series of QSAR were build using modern state-of-art statistical techniques. read more >>

Tomasz Puzyn (UG) in National Institute for Environmetal Studies (NIES) in Tsukuba

Between 10 and 26 of February I was visiting National Institute for Environmental Studies in Tsukuba (Japan).

DSC_0046The group led by Prof. Seishiro Hirano is involved in WP2: Carrying out experiments to produce necessary (missing) data for nanoparticles. The visit has been conducted within BRIDGE I: Collaboration between developers of computational and empirical methods for risk assessment. During a general meeting and personal discussions we have exchanged information on the progress in the development of computational and experimental methods within NanoBRIDGES project. We have discussed further directions of the experiments to ensure that data produced by the experimental team would be useful to developDSC_0001 computational (Nano-QSAR) models. On the other hand, I gained the basic knowledge on the origin of the data. I learned how the data were produced step-by-step and what eventual problems originating from the experiments that have a potential impact on the computations would be.

Although the visit was very short, it gave me an idea on the origin of experimental data that we are dealing with. This was my first experience of visiting toxicological laboratory and to observe, how the experiments are performed. In addition, I got new ideas for possible calculation of descriptors of nanostructure based on the results from confocal microscopy.

Michal J. WOZNIAK (WUT) in National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) in Tsukuba

mwozniakI have visited National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) in Tsukuba Japan, spending there 2 month (5th September – 5th November 2012).
I have carried out experiments to produce necessary data for the nanoparticles.

Using my experience in Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) I developed novel method for nanoparticles sample preparation and investigation in liquid environment. I tested morphology and size distribution of nanoparticles in ambient and liquid condition. Moreover I investigated morphology of CHO (Chinese Hamster Ovary)-NF-kappa B cells, and cells – nanoparticles interaction using AFM and Confocal Laser Microscopy (CLM) methods. I have learned a lot about different analytical methods like XRD, DLS, BET and CLM.

Most of expected data from second Work Package 2 „Carrying out experiments to produce necessary (missing) data for NPs” were collected.
I was very impressed by the level of experiments carried out at NIES in Tsukuba. Personally I am very familiar with Japan, I used to stay in Tsukuba few years as a graduate student and postdoc and visit for NanoBridges project implementation was very pleasant and fruitful experience for me.

Przemysław Oberbek (WUT) in National Institute for Environmetal Studies (NIES) in Tsukuba

farewell niesI spent 6 month at the Tsukuba (from 17 of august 2012 to 15 february 2013), mostly carrying out experiments to produce necessary data for nanoparticles. As a chemist and material scientist I was always looking for a chance to develope my practical skills in biological laboratory. I gained a lot of experience and new knowledge like how to handle CHO cells, (that were necessary for this part of a project) and run cytotoxic tests. Also I learned a lot about different analytical methods like XRD, DLS, confocal microscope, TEM and also workde with Atomic Force Miscroscope that is far different than ours.

SH3B0230With our Team, we were able to collect 12 different samples of NPs, characterize them, measure physico-chemical properties and obtain some data for their toxicity. Now 8 new samples were sent to Japan (to collect minimal 20 samples for nano-QSAR model) and I’m also planning to get back to Tsukuba, in a few months, with some additional samples to finish all of the studies. Most of our objectives from second Work Package „Carrying out experiments to produce necessary (missing) data for NPs” were achieved.

After hours I spent very nice time learning about the Japanese culture. I really love the place and the people at Tsukuba, especially stuff from National Institute for Environmental Studies. I was even a part of a NIES Soccer Team!

New partners

We are pleased to announce that, from 1 March 2013 to NanoBRIDGES project joined two newGroups- from India and China, represented by:

  • group of Prof. Yuliang Zhao (National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, China) and
  • group of Prof. Kunal Roy (Jadavpur University, India),

increasing our Consortium to 12 Partners!

Welcome! :) I hope that working in such a large group will be even more fruitful.


University of Gdansk
Faculty of Chemistry
ul. Wita Stwosza 63
80-952 Gdansk

European Commision