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Theme 4: Project 5 - Improved in vitro systems for evaluation and comparing toxicity of air pollutants

To build on established networks within the current HPRU, capitalising on the novel systems developed in the toxicological assessment of nanomaterials and other in vitro cell systems in the HPRU, we aim to investigate the mechanistic basis of the adverse health effects of combustion derived nanoparticles (traffic and biomass derived) and their co-pollutant gases, currently ill-understood and difficult to separate in epidemiological studies. 

These novel systems have many advantages in terms of achieving more realistic exposure modalities (eg ALI aerosol exposure) and biological relevance (eg co-culture models). Comparative toxicology using these approaches will allow measured/considered judgement on the plausibility and likely size of possible mechanistic effects, to include lung inflammation, oxidative stress, carcinogenic, neurological and cardiovascular effects.

Lead researchers

Professor Terry Tetley


Imperial College London

Dr Rachel Smith

Theme 4 Deputy Leader

Public Health England