Napier University is a registered charity with an Annual Turnover 2006/2007 of £88,823,000 and 1389 full time equivalent employees. &nb
The School of Life Sciences is one of three schools within the Faculty of Health Life and Social sciences. The School has research groups that investigate nanoparticle toxicology and ecotoxicology, as well as microbiology, immunology, sport science and environmental biology. Nanoparticle toxicology and ecotoxicology is conducted by the Biomedicine and Sport Science Research Group in collaboration with the Environmental Biology Research Group in the School of Life Sciences.
Activities in the project
NU will collaborate in developing the protocols required to expose and assess the impact of nanoparticles on each of the newly developed organ models. Since nanoparticles behave differently to dissolved chemicals, such exposure and impact assessment protocols need to be considered carefully with respect to relevant protocols for particle dispersion, characterisation, detection of uptake, localisation of uptake into cells, translocation within organ models as well as impacts on cell biochemistry, signalling, function and pathology. Identification of appropriate protocols also includes design of appropriate endpoints, which will be informed by current expertise and knowledge relating to nanoparticles toxicology, as well as our understanding of the important and key questions which remain unanswered.
Expertise in these activities / Previous experiences
NU has a history of studying and publishing nanoparticle, ultrafine particle and air pollution particle toxicology that spans 12 years. Studies include in vivo and in vitro models of the lung, immune system, liver and more recently the gastrointestinal tract. Many studies have focused on the mechanism of particle induced health effects, focusing on detection of oxidative stress and inflammation, as well as the intracellular molecular signalling pathways that control inflammation. Studies have also assessed the relationship between size, surface area and potency of different particles in order to identify physicochemical factors responsible for biological activity. Recent studies have investigated mechanism of uptake, and subsequent intracellular location in relation to toxicity, as well as mechanisms of excretion from cells, for example in to bile.
Key people involved
Prof Vicki Stone completed her PhD studies in 1994 at the University of Birmingham where she investigated the impact of oxidative stress on liver function and bile production. In 1995 she worked at the Pasteur Institute in Lille, where she established a primary liver culture to screen the toxicity of fibrate drugs. In 1996 she moved to Napier University, Edinburgh where she worked on a project to investigate the toxicity of ultrafine or nanoparticles. She has been Director of Biomedicine and Sport Science Research Group since 2002. She is Professor of Toxicology and a founding member of SnIRC (Safety of nanomaterials Interdisciplinary Research Centre). Together with Rob Aitken at the Institute of Occupational Medicine, Vicki has established SAFENANO, a facility to support the risk, exposure and hazard needs of nanotechnology industries. Vicki is also editor-in-chief of the journal Nanotoxicology as well as assistant editor of Particle and Fibre Toxicology. She is a WP Leader of the EU project NanoImpactNet and co-ordinator of the EU project ENRHES.
Some relevant publications / Patent