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Aim of ENPRA

Harnessing the latest advances in toxicology for nanotechnology EH&S issues, the fundamentally novel rationale of ENPRA goes beyond traditional toxicity assessment of ENP and seeks to:

  • identify the critical ENP physico-chemical characteristics responsible for the observed toxicity;
  • investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the observed association;
  • develop systems, verifiable with in vivo experiments, which could be used as potential high throughput alternative toxicity tests;
  • use a Structure-Activity method to facilitate such identification and use this to predict the hazard of new materials;
  • extrapolate the results from in vitro to in vivo and to other relevant occupational or consumer situations;
  • incorporate all possible data as weight-of-evidence for a risk assessment of ENP.

 ENPRA will develop and implement a novel, integrated approach for ENP Risk Assessment. This approach is based on the Exposure-Dose-Response Paradigm for ENP (see figure below). This paradigm states that exposure to ENP of different physico-chemical characteristics via inhalation, ingestion or dermal. Our exposure is likely to lead to their distribution, beyond the portal-of-entry organ to other body systems. The cumulative dose in a target organ will eventually lead to an adverse response in a dose-response manner approach will adapt the traditional Risk Assessment approach to ENP and will cover: Hazard Identification; Dose-Response Assessment; Exposure Assessment and Risk Assessment, Management.

Illustrating the Exposure-Dose-Response Paradigm:Exposure- Dose-Response Paradigm figure



The specific objectives of ENPRA in five areas are:

(i) Hazard Identification: Characterize a panel of commercially available ENP carefully chosen to address the relevant hazards, properties and potential mechanisms;

(ii) Dose-response Assessment: Assess the hazards of these ENP by means of in vitro toxicology tests based on:

  • five body systems - pulmonary; hepatic; renal; cardio-vascular; and developmental systems;
  • for five endpoints - oxidative stress; inflammation and immune-responses; genotoxicity; fibrogenecity; and developmental toxicity.

(iii) Verify the in vitro findings with validation tests

(iv) Exposure and Risk Assessment - Use data from this project and other sources to:

  • Model exposure and the exposure-dose response relationships by means of mathematical modelling such as PBPK and QSAR-like methods, and extend these deterministic models into probabilistic models
  • Conduct the risk assessment with uncertainty analysis;

(v) Risk Management: Develop and implement a strategy for dissemination to maximize the anticipated high impact of our findings.


Project activity

The sixth meeting of the European Observatory on NanoSafety (EONS) took place in Paris on 24 May 2012

The proceedings of this meeting have been summarised in the sixth 'European Observtory on Nano Safety' (EONS) report, and an excerpt is available on the Home page. The main report is available exclusively to ENPRA members in the member area of the website. Visit the WP7 section for access.  


Website & Newsletter

Providing general information on the project and its progress, and links to related areas.

Registered members of can access further information, with private areas for Project Team information and collaboration, eg project plans, progress reports, protocols, discussion forums, project Wiki etc.

The site provides a resource for ENPRA project team members and other interested parties. We welcome any useful content - please submit any items such as events and links, or other ENPRA related items of interest via our feedback form.

Non project team members can still register for future updates and occasional ENPRA newsletters.

The fifth ENPRA newsletter is available to download now - click here for access. 





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