21st Century Assessment Project

Project: Research project

Project Details


21st Century Assessment Project 21st Century Assessment Project Objectives. With the rapid development of nanotechnology, there is a higher risk for people and environment exposed to more and more nanotechnology-based products. Thus, research into the exposure, bioavailability, potential toxicity, and life cycle assessment of manufactured nanomaterials (MNMs) with unique properties is needed. Ecotoxicity studies using aquatic organism (e.g., green algae, Daphnia, and fish) as test species and biotoxicity studies using mammalian cell or aqueous organisms as test models have been conducted. However, to date, there is few data available on the activity of MNMs in a whole biological system, and the correlations among different biological response of aquatic organism exposed to MNMs are still unanswered questions. The objectives of this project are to: 1) Identify the health states of aquatic organisms exposed to MNMs using different biomarkers at various biological levels, 2) Compare the different responses of biomarkers in aquatic organisms and, to seek correlations among those biomarkers so as to determine the target organ(s) in an aquatic species that are exposed to different MNMs, and if there are specific biomarkers whose changes can be linked directly to the healthy state of aquatic organisms, 3) Use the specific biomarkers as toxic endpoints to assess whether the nanomaterial properties (e.g., particle size, shape, functionality, surface coat and charge, and ability to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS)) control their bioavailability or the elemental composition of materials itself is more important, and assess which environmental factors (e.g., light, ionic strength, natural organic matter (NOM)) can enhance or attenuate their bioavailability.
Effective start/end date10/1/071/31/13


  • MacArthur Foundation: $1,815,000.00


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