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Immune response to nanomaterials

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Personal profile

Overview

Research

We work at the interface of material sciences, biology, and physiopathology, using the most advanced methodologies in each area to reveal which physicochemical or biological features of nanomaterials are the most likely to induce inflammation, genotoxicity or toxic reactions, with the ultimate aim to guide the production of safer nanomaterials using a safer-by-design approach.

Using carbon nanomaterials, in particular graphene based and two-dimensional materials, as case study, we have shown that dimensions, surface properties such as surface chemistry, and the ability of nanomaterials to adsorb biological molecules (bio-corona) are three essential parameters that can be used to predict the toxicity or inertness of manufactured nanomaterials.

Our team is currently contributing to two EU projects funded under the H2020 programme, 

  • Graphene Flagship , in which we aim to reveal the safety issues of 2D materials after inhalation
  • PLASTICHEAL , in which we aim to understand better the fate and effects of micro and nanoplastics after inhalation and ingestion

Teaching

  • Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health: MBChB, MPharm, UG biological sciences, and PGT programmes
  • Faculty of Sciences and Engineering: CDT Graphene programme 

University of Manchester Roles

Affiliations

Biography

Employment history

  • 2013 - present | Lecturer at the University of Manchester, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
  • 2011 - 2013 | Marie Sklodowska-Curie career development Fellowship (EU-FP7, NanoNeuroHOP project) at UCL School of Pharmacy, University College London, UK. Project aiming to reveal the neuro safety profile of different carbon based materials, modified for biomedical applications.

  • 2010 - 2011 | Visiting Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Nanomedicine Lab, UCL School of Pharmacy, University College London, UK. Project aiming to assess the neuro safety profile of carbon nanotubes functionalised for biomedical applications. Project co-funded by French Government (Grenelle de l'Environment).
  • 2002 - 2005 | PhD research candidate/engineer at IRSN (Radiotoxicology and Radiobiology Lab) and IRBA (Institut de Recherche Biomédicale des Armées, former CRSSA, part of the French Defence Health Service), France. Project aiming to assess the neurotoxicity of radionucleides at environmental doses (project ENVIRHOM). This research was co-funded by the French Union Chamber of Mineral Waters (including Danone Group, Nestle Waters France, Neptune).

Qualifications

 

Research interests

Methodological knowledge

  • mammalian cell cultures
  • primary cell cultures: lung and peritoneal macrophages, brain cells
  • organotypic cell cultures
  • in vivo studies
  • cryo-/micro-/ultramicro-tomy
  • histology
  • immunohisto-/cyto-chemistry
  • cytotoxicity assays
  • RT-PCR
  • fluorescence imaging (epifluorescence, confocal)
  • electronic imaging (TEM, HR-TEM, S-TEM (EELS), SEM, env-SEM, cryo-TEM, cryo-SEM, FIB-SEM) and biological sample preparation