Lucienne Juillerat

Development of methodology for alternative testing strategies for the assessment of the toxicological profile of nanoparticles used in medical diagnostics

Domaine: Cooperation Health

Acronyme: NANOTEST

Durée: 01.04.2008 – 30.09.2011

Budget total: 2.990.000 EUR

Budget UNIL: 215.750 EUR


Lucienne Juillerat, Institut universitaire de pathologie, CHUV



Nanoparticles (NP) have unique, potentially beneficial properties, but their possible impact on human health has not been adequately assessed. The main goal of this proposal is to develop alternative high-throughput testing strategies using in vitro and in silico methods to assess the toxicological profile of NP used in medical diagnostics.

Our specific aims are to:

  1. Define NP properties and fully characterize NP to be used
  2. Study NP interactions with molecules, cells and organs and develop in vitro methods to study the toxicological potential of NP
  3. Validate in vitro findings in short-term in vivo models and study particle effects in animals and (ex vivo) in humans to assess individual susceptibility to NP
  4. Develop in silico models of NP interactions Experimental work is structured in 4 WPs to address NP characterisation and key elements in evaluation of NP uptake, exposure and toxicology.

NANOTEST integrates the investigation of toxicological properties and effects of NP in several target systems by developing a battery of in vitro assays using cell cultures, organotypic cell culture and small organ fragments (ex vivo) derived from different biological systems; blood, vascular system, liver, lung, placenta, digestive and central nervous systems.