On a daily basis, people are exposed to a multitude of health-hazardous airborne particulate matter with notable deposition in the fragile alveolar region of the lungs. Hence, there is a great need for identification and prediction of material-associated diseases, currently hindered due to the lack of in-depth understanding of causal relationships, in particular between acute exposures and chronic symptoms. By applying advanced microscopies and omics to in vitro and in vivo systems, together with in silico molecular modeling, it is determined herein that the long-lasting response to a single exposure can originate from the interplay between the newly discovered nanomaterial quarantining and nanomaterial cycling between different lung cell types. This new insight finally allows prediction of the spectrum of lung inflammation associated with materials of interest using only in vitro measurements and in silico modeling, potentially relating outcomes to material properties for a large number of materials, and thus boosting safe-by-design-based material development. Because of its profound implications for animal-free predictive toxicology, this work paves the way to a more efficient and hazard-free introduction of numerous new advanced materials into our lives.
GrantsCrossing borders and scales - an interdisciplinary approach (CROSSING project) Science Foundation Ireland China Scholarship Council (CSC fellowship) Genomics Research and Development Initiative and Chemicals Management Plan of Health Canada Helmholtz Alliance "Aging and Metabolic Programming, AMPro" Slovenian Research Agency Young Researcher Program Slovenian Research Agency EU Horizon 2020 Grant