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EU grants project on toxicity of nanomaterials

A multinational research project has have been awarded EUR 3 358 500 from the European Commission to study the hazardous effects of engineered nanomaterials on the immune system.
The project, called Nanommune, connects researchers from Sweden, Finland, Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland and the United States. It is coordinated by Bengt Fadeel from at the Institute of Environmental Medicine at Karolinska Institutet. The interdisciplinary network consists of experts in material sciences, cell biology, immunology, toxicology, systems biology and risk assessment.

Engineered nanomaterials offer tremendous opportunities in industry, daily consumables, medicine, electronics and numerous other areas. However, there are considerable knowledge gaps concerning the potential hazardous effects of nanomaterials on human health and the environment. The Nanommune partnership is committed to filling these knowledge gaps through a comprehensive assessment of nanomaterials, with particular focus on effects on the immune system.

Through the comprehensive approach, which combines different disciplines, the researchers aim to analyze and predict the toxic potential of existing and emerging nanonmaterials on key functions of the immune system. A detailed physico-chemical characterization of nanonmaterials is also an integrative part of the project. Overall, the Nanommune project results will enhance the understanding of possible adverse effects of nanomaterials and will contribute to a continuous and sustainable growth of the nanotechnologies.

The Nanommune project was launched on September 1st 2008 and will run for 3 years. The project is funded by the European Commission through the 7th Framework Program by the funding scheme of collaborative projects, in the area of nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies.
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