Universiteit Leiden

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Develop a methodology for assessing the effective dose of nanomaterials for environmental risk assessment purposes

How to make a quantitative assessment of the relative contribution to toxicity of ions and particles? Is the toxicity of nanoparticles related to their size or shape? Which physicochemical property of nanoparticles is an appropriate dose metric of nanoparticles?

2011 - 2015
The project is funded by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment of The Netherlands (RIVM)


Short abstract

Nanotechnology is increasingly used in every sector of society. The rapid growth and application of nanotechnology inevitably results in the eventual exposure of humans and environmental receptors to nanomaterials. This PhD project mainly focuses on metal-based nanoparticles and exposure in aquatic systems and subsequently the risks to aquatic organisms. The aim and expected results are developing a methodology to assessment of dose metrics of nanoparticles.

Project description

In the risk assessment of chemicals, the dose metrics is one of the foundations. For conventional chemicals, risk is commonly expressed on the basis of dose metric “mass”. However, ‘mass’ as a dose metric is not ideal for the expression of responses induced by NPs.

For a better assessment of dose metrics of NPs, the physicochemical characteristics of NPs should be taken into account. Due to the fact that the characteristics of the MNs at the site of action are expected to differ from the characteristics in the external exposure, it is the actual local dose at the site of toxicity for which a relationship between the dose metric and the toxic effect needs to be determined.

Hua, J.; Vijver, M.G.; Ahmad, F.; Richardson, M.K.; Peijnenburg, W.J. Toxicity of different-sized copper nano- and submicron particles and their shed copper ions to zebrafish embryos. Environ Toxicol Chem 2014, 33, 1774-1782.

Hua, J.; Vijver, M.G.; Richardson, M.K.; Ahmad, F.; Peijnenburg, W.J. Particle-specific toxic effects of differently shaped zinc oxide nanoparticles to zebrafish embryos (Danio rerio). Environ Toxicol Chem 2014, 33, 2859-2868.

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