Nanotox

Project Image:
Title of the project:

Nanotox

Teasertext:
Reenacted combustion processes and animal-free cell cultures allow authentic toxicity tests
Summary:
The toxicity of the nanoparticles produced during the combustion of biomass was investigated using a lung cell culture model.
Start:
01.06.2008
End:
31.12.2009
Project leader:
Werner Fr. Dreher
Project funding:
  • Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft
Project management:
  • Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe E.V. (FNR)
Funding reference number:
22015507
Text:

The combustion of renewable raw materials produces nanoparticles. This project investigated how toxic they are to humans. The combustion process that can be expected from the normal use of small combustion plants in private households was simulated. The toxic effect of inhaled nanoparticles was investigated using a model system in which the nanoparticles were directed onto in vitro cultivated human lung cells. The study criteria were the extent of cell damage and the triggering of inflammatory processes.

Description:

The toxicity of nanoparticles resulting from the combustion of renewable raw materials was investigated. The combustion process that can be expected by the average consumer through the use of small combustion plants in private households was simulated as a model, i.e. both optimal and sub-optimal combustion processes were simulated.
The toxic effect after inhalation was investigated using a model system in which nanoparticles were directed onto in vitro cultured human A549 lung cells. For this exposure, the cells were cultured on semipermeable membranes, which allow the supply of nutrients from below, while a gas stream with the nanoparticles was applied to the top. The response of the cells, e.g. the triggering of inflammatory processes, was investigated both at the gene expression level via quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and at the protein level via the release of inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-6, interleukin-8). Cell damage was investigated by the release of a naturally intracellular enzyme, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH assay), which indicates impairment of cell membrane function.
The commercially available ovens investigated within the scope of the project were selected on the basis of the white list of the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control. They were characterised by pre-optimised combustion conditions, so that no toxic effects of nanoparticles on the cells could be observed at short exposure times of up to two hours. For the future, longer and/or repeated exposures are envisaged as well as the use of furnaces that are more representative for the market.

Project partners:
  • Institut für Feuerungs- und Kraftwerkstechnik (Universität Stuttgart)
  • Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)