Interactions of nanomaterials with human cells, tissues and organs

Interactions of nanomaterials with living organisms are decisive factors for the safety of these substances. The physico-chemical properties of these materials may or may not impair the functions of the human body. The aim is to detect the interactions of nanomaterials with the human body and to analyse their mechanics.

Our main questions are:

Which effects are to be expected in the human body after exposure to nanomaterials? Do nanoparticles act on all tissues in the same way? Which mechanisms are involved in the triggering of such effects, e.g. inflammatory responses?

What are intracellular target locations of NPs and which mechanisms are involved in their uptake? How are microscopic mechanisms and toxicological processes correlated in the uptake of nanoparticles into the human body?

Is it possible to accelerate the hazard evaluation of nanomaterials using high throughput systems?

Left: Fluoreszence image of liver cell micro tissue (green: cytoskeleton, blau: nuclei) with silica nanoparticles (magenta) located at the border of the micro tissue. Right: Elektron microscopy image of a liver cell drop. Individual nanoparticles are visible in the outer rim of the cell drop (white in detail on top left). [Jana Fleddermann]

Current examples from our research:

3D model of liver cells to improve safety evaluation of nanoparticles
Respiration-like stretching of lung cells in cell culture model influences their reaction on nanoparticles