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Title: A multidisciplinary mineralogical, crystal-chemical and biological project to amend the paradigm of toxicity and cancerogenicity of mineral fibres.

ICCOM Principal Investigator: Simona Raneri.

Project Type: National.

Duration: 03/11/2019 – 04/11/2023.

Abstract: The mechanisms by which mineral fibres, and especially asbestos, prompt adverse effects in vivo remain poorly understood because the role of all their crystal-chemical-physical parameters to the toxicity/cancerogenicity potential has not been properly assessed yet. This project is aimed to fill this gap and recast the existing mechanistic ‘fibre toxicity paradigms’. The new approach includes the role of active surface iron, biodurability and the ‘Trojan horse effect’ (cellular release of ion toxic cargo from the dissolving fibres), and ion exchange of the zeolite fibres during the phagocytosis process which may interfere with the biochemical signalling prompting the programmed death (apoptosis) of damaged cells. The strong mineralogical and physical-chemical know how of the team ensures a deep crystal-chemical characterization of the fibres while the interdisciplinary approach permits the understanding of the in vivo toxicity mechanisms to put the basis of quantitative models of bio-chemical interaction of the fibres inducing adverse effects. The biological activities of the fibres will be verified on innovative 3D physiological in vitro models and the final models of toxicity/pathogenicity validated by competent authorities (e.g. the IARC).

Coordinator: Prof. Alessandro Gualtieri, UNIMORE.

Partnership: ICCOM-CNR, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, Università degli Studi di Genova, Università Politecnica delle Marche.

ICCOM participants: Simona Raneri, Laura Fornasini.

Financed by: MIUR (Project PRIN code no. 20173X8WA4).

Project total budget: 463.670,00 €.

ICCOM total budget: 61.000 €.

Categories: Ended projects