The toxicological effects of particles relevant for occupational medicine: Influence of particle size, particle shape, and particle surface

Project No. FF-FP 0412




A targeted synthesis of relevant particles will enable us to characterize chemically identical particles with different size, surface, and shape in terms of their physicochemical, biological, and toxicological effects. The project is aimed primarily on parameters that lead to an attraction (chemotaxis) of inflammatory cells. These can be specific effects that already occur below toxic particle concentrations.


The following particle systems that are of specific importance in occupational medicine will be synthesized in different size and shape: titanium dioxide, silicon dioxide (as quartz and as silica), and zinc oxide. Relevant cells from the pulmonary tract (lung macrophages) will be incubated with these particles in vitro. The concentration of released inflammation markers will be analytically determined and also measured in an in vitro lung cell model with respect to the accumulation of inflammation markers. The obtained data will be used to elucidate the correlation between particle size/particle surface and intensity of the macrophage reaction (chemotaxis, release of inflammatory markers).

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Financed by:
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e. V. (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • Universität Duisburg-Essen
  • Berufsgenossenschaftliches Universitätsklinikum Bergmannsheil gGmbH

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

dangerous substances


prevention, diseases of the respiratory tract (except cancer), dust, fibers, particles

Description, key words:

toxicological effects, particles, particle size, particle shape, and particle surface