MINT- Metal Ion and Nanoparticle Trafficking in Terrestrial Isopods


EU policies (i.e. REACH or RIPoN) and Horizon 2020 define within their priorities the research and development of nanotechnologies along with the evaluation of their ecotoxicological effects. The exponential exploitation of nanotechnologies has resulted in the release of a diverse range of nanoparticles into the environment. The knowledge-base used by legislators and environmental regulators to perform risk assessment on the interaction between the Environment and NPs is scarce especially given the continual generation of new NPs. This project aims to proactively evaluate the biological impact of new generations of nickel- and gold- NPs with significant future commercial potential exploiting the elegant and highly specific metal trafficking system of the terrestrial isopod hepatopancreas (HP) in Oniscus asellus. The project will determine how metals are trafficked, ‘who’ are the major players (proteins and small molecules) are in the process and the impact of these NPs on the basal metallo-biology or this organism. The project will focus on the development of a spatially resolved holistic understanding of metal trafficking pathways within the terrestrial isopods by targeting different levels of biological organization (molecular and cellular physiology) and how the NPs impact the homeostatic systems.



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