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Atmospheric aerosols, cell cultures, chemical models, cytotoxicity, lung organoids, optical microscopy, oxidative potential, particulate matter, inflammatory response.
Atmospheric particulate pollution has been linked to a broad spectrum of adverse health effects including respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and dementia. These effects depend not only on physical, but also on chemical properties of airborne particulate matter (PM) though to date it has proven difficult to disentangle the relative contribution of PM constituents to the reported population-level health effects. To address this issue this project will use "tailored" reference aerosols, combined with high-resolution optical imaging of exposed cells and state-of-the-art cell analysis methods to study the cytotoxic effects of airborne PM in vitro. This will be done in a systematic way to help inform which PM metrics are associated with the induction of toxic mechanisms so that they can then be linked to specific health effects.
This is a joint research project carried out in the framework of the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR) (see:http://www.euramet.org/research-innovation/empir/). The EMPIR initiative is co-funded by the European Unions's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the participating states. METAS is one of the project partners in the project.
The overall goal of this project is to identify correlations between particle component/properties (metrics) with adverse outcome pathways that are associated with the induction of acute and chronic health effects within the European population. This will be delivered through the development of a new method for studying in vitro cytotoxicity based on the use of "tailored" synthetic ambient aerosols combined with high-resolution optical imaging and state-of-the-art cell analysis methods. The specific objectives of the project are: