Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (NERC)
OX10 8BB United Kingdom
Telephone: (+44) 1491 692626
Investigating the role of metal binding protein in nanotoxicology using the laboratory model organism Caenorhabditis elegans (Project 5)
Related work packages: WP1, WP2, WP3, WP4 (see WP Table).
In 2011 Carolin received her Diploma (hons) (MSc equivalent) in Geoecology from the Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen, Germany. During her degree she specialized in ecotoxicology and studied the effect of sewage treatment plant influenced surface water and sediment on early life stage development and heat shock protein induction in zebrafish (Danio rerio) in her thesis. In 2010 she also spent a semester studying biochemistry at the Queen’s University Belfast, UK.
Carolin started her NanoTOES fellowship as early stage researcher at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (NERC) in the UK in 2011 and is enrolled as DPhil student in the department of Material Sciences at Oxford University.
Nanotechnology is relatively new but fast growing field that has gained much recognition in recent years. Resulting from their small size and/or functionalisation are novel properties of these materials that are not present in their bulk counterparts thus presenting novel potential benefits for human health. However, the increase in the production of engineered nanomaterials inevitably increases the amount that is released into the environment with not yet fully established consequences.
This project provides an in vivo element within NanoTOES that aims to transfer conclusions drawn from in vitro studies to whole organism responses and to put these into an environmental context. The toxic effects of silver nanoparticles as well as their bulk counterparts on various life history traits and fitness are assessed. Metabolism and potential detoxification mechanisms are investigated through the analysis of changes in the expression of know stress response pathways, such as metallothioneins and phytochelatin synthase. Toxicokinetics are further assessed utilizing various microscopy techniques to study nanoparticle uptake, distribution and accumulation.
The mechanisms of nanoparticle toxicity in the nematode will thus be investigated at different organisational levels, ranging from changes in gene expression up to effects over multiple generations will be studied.
Claus Svendsen (CEH), Dave Spurgeon (CEH), Alison Crossley (Oxford University)