Trading in vivo for in silico: a new approach to nanotoxicity assessment
Historically, market pressure has often resulted in scientific innovation being made available to consumers even before we were fully aware of its ins and outs. This was notably the case with asbestos, and the same scenario could very well be repeating with nanotechnology if proper safety assessment studies are not conducted and political measures taken. According to some of the latest forecasts, the nano- technology market will grow to reach US$ 75.8 (EUR 65.8) billion by 2020. And while engineered nanoparticles (eNPs) are already widespread in the likes of cosmetics, paint and electronics, we still don’t know much about their possible long- term effects on biological systems.
To gain a better understanding, scientists still rely heavily on animal testing — in spite of efforts from animal protection activists, scientists and policy makers to put the focus on alternative testing methods. In line with the EU’s efforts to implement appropriate testing strategies and with a view to overcoming the current obstacles to a wider adoption of in silico methods, Prof. Robert Rallo, coordinator of MODERN, initiated the MODERN project in January 2013.
A couple of months before the end of the project, he tells us about its achievements and expected impact on eNP toxicity assessment methods.
ISSN 1831-9947 (printed version)
ISSN 1977-4028 (PDF, EPUB)