Confirmed speakers

Click on the speaker to read title and abstract for their lecture (updates continuously).

Lena Palmberg

Lena Palmberg, MD is a Professor in Toxicology at Karolinska Institutet. The long term goal with her research is to lay the foundation for effective, future treatments through better understanding of the mechanisms behind chronic bronchitis and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Her research is also providing new knowledge on environmental factors that cause these diseases including exposure to particles/nanoparticles. She has developed advanced multicellular lung mucosa models including human primary cells as an important tool in her research. (Photographer: Ulf Sirborn).

Multi-cellular human lung models for toxicity testing

Abstract: It is important to develop and evaluate physiologically relevant lung mucosa models including both bronchial and alveolar mucosa models with primary human cells for assessing nanoparticles related health hazards. To develop these sophisticated airway wall models further, they can be co-cultured with fibroblast/endothelial cells and/or innate effector cells (macrophages) which not only mimic the in vivo-situation but also avoid the constant concern of species differences when using animal models. These models with multiple cell types enable us to study cell-to cell interactions and cross-talk between the cells. New approaches regarding exposure methods are needed to be able to expose the models cultured at air-liquid interface. Further, both acute and repeated exposures are important to mimic both acute and more chronic exposure situation. The models can be used to explore the interaction of exposure, therapeutic effects, innate immunity, protease/antiprotease balance and oxidative stress as well as the interactions of various cell types. Validation of the models will make it possible to develop a systematic in vitro-testing strategy in order to reduce the requirement for animal inhalation studies.

Jonas Hedberg

Jonas Hedberg is a Researcher and docent at the Division of Surface and Corrosion Science, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. He has experience in corrosion, spectroscopy, and surfaces studies of interactions between nanoparticles and biological and environmental media.

Connections between natural organic matter adsorption, dissolution and electrochemistry for a selection of metal nanoparticles

Abstract: Environmental risk assessment of the diffuse dispersion of metal nanoparticles (NPs) requires knowledge on their environmental fate in terms of changes in particle characteristics and their transformation in contact with freshwater and similar media. This work describes how interactions with natural organic matter (NOM) and the electrochemical properties of metal NPs influence their dissolution and surface characteristics. Investigated NPs include copper, manganese, aluminum, tungsten carbide, tungsten carbide cobalt, and cobalt. NOM interactions were studied using  dihydroxy benzoic acid (DHBA) and Suwannee River humic acid. For example, DHBA adsorbed via covalent bonding with NPs of copper and aluminum, which enhanced their degree of dissolution through weakening of the metal-oxygen bonds of the surface oxide. In all, this study shows that the comparison of NPs of different surface characteristics is a way to increase the knowledge on the environmental fate of NPs, useful in terms of improved understanding of dissolution mechanisms.

Rickard Arvidsson

Rickard Arvidsson is an Associate Professor at the Dept of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology. He has an expertise in Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Risk Assessment of nanomaterials.

Proxy measures for manufactured nanomaterials

Proxy measures are simple indicators able to provide early signs of environmental risk. Since environmental risk assessment of manufactures nanomaterials (MNMs) has proven challenging, the feasibility of using proxy measures was investigated. A literature review revealed a number of potential proxy measures for MNMs, which were further evaluated based on environmental relevance and data availability, resulting in a number of promising measures: production volume, release and a number of ecotoxicity measures. Two of these – production volume and short-term aquatic ecotoxicity – were employed in a proof-of-concept test for seven MNMs: titanium dioxide, cerium dioxide, zinc oxide, silver, silicon dioxide, carbon nanotubes and graphene. The proxy measures were feasible for a screening environmental assessment of these MNMs. The results from the test furthermore revealed that some of the MNMs had high production volume and one had high ecotoxicity, but none had both high production volume and ecotoxicity.

Anna Furberg

Anna Furberg is a PhD Student at the Dept. of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, with an expertise in Life Cycle Assessment.

Societal flows of cemented tungsten carbide – the case of tire studs

Abstract: Cemented tungsten carbide (WC-Co) is applied in many different applications due to its properties of high hardness and toughness. Tire studs represent one such application and is used in many countries in order to increase the friction between the tires and the winter road. Previous studies have indicated emissions of WC-Co nanoparticles originating from tire stud use but the magnitude of these emissions remain unknown. This study conducted a material flow analysis for tungsten, which is the main constituent of the tire stud pins, and quantified WC-Co nanoparticle emissions from the use of tire studs in Sweden. The results show that 100% of the tungsten in tire studs become dissipated and that 0% is functionally recycled. A comparison of WC-Co nanoparticle emissions with emissions of some engineered nanomaterials in various applications in Sweden showed that the WC-Co nanoparticle emissions were larger than for e.g. nanosilver.

Frida Book

Frida Book is a PhD Student at Dept of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg.

Toxicity screening of seven different types of commercial silica nanoparticles using cellular and organismic assays: importance of surface and size

Abstract: We show that seven different types of commercial, biocide-free, colloidal silica particles of nominal sizes between 7 and 100 nm with 3 different surface chemistries (Na-stabilized aluminized and silane-modified) are not toxic to the bacterium Pseudomonas putida, and the algae Raphidocelis subcapitata in the concentration range 5-500 mg/L. They are also not acutely toxic to Daphnia magna at concentrations up to 10 000 mg/L. Six silica particles are toxic to gill cell lines from Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), showing a clear concentration-response relationship with EC50 values between 13-92 mg/L. Toxicity increases with hydrodynamic sizes and is dependent on particle surface area. The average EC50 across the tested particles is 2.0 m2 (± 0.3 m2/L). Surface modifications clearly impact toxicity, with silane-modified particles being not cytotoxic.

Begoña Espiña

Begoña Espiña is the Leader of the Water Quality Research Group within the Department of Life Sciences at INL, International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Portugal. Dr. Espiña focuses her research on developing biosensors based on nanomaterials for capture of chemical contaminants in water as well as developing methods for nanomaterials’ fate, bioaccumulation and toxicity.

Evaluation of toxicity and bioaccumulation of commercial nanomaterials used in plastic industry in aquatic organisms.

Abstract: Last decade’s extensive development of novel nanomaterials have boosted a remarkable expansion potential for multiple industry sectors. Yet, current uncertainty in the regulatory framework, the limited literature available on their potential effects towards human health and environmental safety, and the scarce information on their specific properties have limited their use in the industry. Our research group has screened the in vivo toxicity in zebrafish embryos and, toxicity and bioaccumulation in mussels of different engineered nanoparticles that are already commercially incorporated in materials developed in the industrial sector of plastics improving their barrier, mechanical and/or conductive properties.  This research is being developed in the framework of the funded project Interreg SUDOE-NanoDESK. NanoDESK aims to promote the investment in nanotechnology in a safe and sustainable way in the plastic sector, solving the current barriers by developing a set of tools to support decision making.