CIC biomaGUNE, the Centre for Cooperative Research in Biomaterials, is to lead the European project HINAMOX, an acronym that stands for Health Impact of Engineered Metal and Metal Oxide Nanoparticles: Response, Bioimaging and Distribution at Cellular and Body Level. The project, which is due to begin in October 2009 and last three years, aims to evaluate the possible impact on health of metal oxide nanoparticles, including zinc, cerium, titanium and iron oxides, which have numerous practical applications and are present in a wide range of commercial products from suntan creams to electronic goods.
The HINAMOX project, headed by researcher Sergio Moya of the Biosurfaces Unit at CIC biomaGUNE, involves the participation of various academic institutions and research centres from several European countries, Mexico and China. Evaluating the possible effects of nanoparticles and nanomaterials on health is of essential importance with a view to the marketing of nanoparticles and to future nanotechnology-based industrial and technological developments. The aim of involving countries like Mexico and China is to give the project a more global outlook, which could be beneficial for the European nanotechnology industry.
The HINAMOX project brings together a series of research activities, which include nanoparticle synthesis, their radioactive and fluorescence labelling, and physicochemical characterization; studies of their concentration and distribution at cellular and body level; analysis of the immune response to exposure to these nanoparticles; and, to finish, a final risk evaluation.