Biological laboratory for cell exposure and study of biological impact of nanoparticles

APTL environmental activities expand and acquire more anthropocentric nature by conducting studies on the effects of air pollution on health. In particular, we study the toxicity of gaseous and particulate pollutants emitted from Diesel engine exhaust through controlled exposure of cell lines directly to the exhaust of the car. Obeying the relevant principles of biology and of fluid dynamics, APTL researchers designed and built an advanced Exposure Chamber (Multiculture Cell Exposure Chamber, MCE) for cell lines, as well as a Selective Particle Size (SPS) sampler able to provide continuous delivery of diesel soot particles of specific size ranges.

In these experiments, several biological indicators are being monitored on the mutagenicity, cytotoxicity and potentiality to induce oxidative stress to the cells because of their exposure to pollutants. The methodology developed in APTL to conduct these very demanding experiments focus on the strict control of conditions of cell exposure (e.g. the exposure time, the dosimetry of emitted pollutants, etc.) in order to replicate as accurately as possible the process of lung cells in the human body. An important advantage of this method is the use of cell lines in the exposure biological tests which offers safe results and contributes significantly to reducing the use of animals for conducting in-vitro experiments.

Additionally, APTL has adopted the hierarchical oxidative stress model as a useful screening procedure for toxicity evaluation. Oxidative stress levels can be assessed by monitoring of the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) generation potential of the produced nanoparticles, measured by micro-Electron Spin Resonance (ESR).

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