Different stages on changing perspectives in immunosafety

Changing perspectives in immunosafety: A NANORIGO publication by PLUS

It is the task of hazard research and of toxicology to uncover detrimental effects. Once a substantial knowledge has been gained, it is important to shift gears and try to look at the problem from the other side: What is safe? This change in perspective is necessary to allow focusing on genuinely problematic materials and not focus too much work on less worrisome entities, merely because there is large body of literature about them.

The group of Albert Duschl from The Paris-Lodron University of Salzburg (PLUS), one of NANORIGO project partner, has recently published a review that addresses this issue with respect to the immunosafety of nanomaterials: Himly M, Geppert M, Hofer S, Hofstätter N, Horejs-Höck J, Duschl A. 2020. When would immunologists consider a nanomaterial to be safe? Recommendations for planning studies on nanosafety. Small. DOI:10.1002/smll.201907483. The paper tries to answer which data are needed to consider a nanomaterial as – from an immunological point of view – rather harmless. Of course, this does not cover other issues like genotoxicity of developmental toxicity, but since the immune system is often the first and certainly the professional responder upon exposure to nanoparticles, it is an important part of safety assessment.

The authors recommend to fully cover three aspects in the design of a study:

  1. A stringent testing for contamination with Endotoxin / LPS is required to exclude that these powerful proinflammatory agents elicit reactions that can be falsely attributed to the particles tested. Due to assay interference it is necessary to use two different tests relying on different principles. The sensitivity of the test needs to match the sensitivity of the relevant cell, organ or species. Note that the sensitivity of human Dendritic cells is 0.2 EU/ml.
  2. The dose needs to be justified by applying the same dose in vitro that may also be acting in vivo. The dose considered here is the dose that reaches a cell – NP per cell would be good expression. This requires to calculate which dose of nanoparticles is “seen” by cells that e.g. adhere to the bottom of a well. Dose per m² would in this case be a good measure, but dose per m³ would be not. A second calculation is needed to estimate the dose to which e.g. a lung epithelial cell of a human is exposed, which again is not the same as particles/m³.
  3. If markers of cell stress or of inflammation are observed in absence of proinflammatory contaminants and at a dose that occurs in real life, then it needs to be checked whether this represents an immune reaction or merely a homeostatic fluctuation. It is easy to produce artifacts; for example, cells go into cell stress when they are handled due to the temperature shock. This analysis may require some help for experts, while the first two points can be addressed by any experimenter.

Within NANORIGO, we specifically address the second point, for example by producing an equivalence dose library for tissue-delivered dose, that will support the RGF and its users. Work with the partners should allow us to further improve this library and make it user-friendly.

image: the different stages on changing perspectives in immunosafety
The different stages on changing perspectives in immunosafety

NANORIGO co-organise the Nanosafety Training School: From Basic Science to Risk Governance

Event Date: 22nd – 27th of March 2020

Location: San Servolo Island, Venice, Italy

Nanosafety Training School celebrates its 10th Anniversary

About the School

NANORIGO co-organise the Venice Nano Training School in partnership with the other H2020 funded projects (BIORIMA, Gov4Nano, GRACIOUS, NanoInformaTIX, PATROLS, and RiskGONE) and celebrates its 10th anniversary. The event will take place in San Servolo (Venice, Italy) on 22nd – 27th of March 2020.

The School will feature keynote speeches, hands-on sessions and a dedicated Young Scientist Forum Day (23rd March) during which early career researchers (PhD students, PhD candidates and Post-Docs) will have the opportunity to present their work. Abstract submissions opened until the 10th of December 2019.

The School week will include a variety of hands-on sessions aimed to transfer state-of-the-art knowledge on a variety of topics from key experts to the new generation of nano-environmental, health and safety, and biomedicine professionals, using interprofessional education.

A variety of networking activities (a special 10th anniversary welcome cocktail, social event and a social dinner) will enable plenty of time and opportunities for you to widen your network and foster academic exchange.

School Topics

Hazard to Human Health & Environment, Fate & Exposure Assessment, Nanomedicine: from the lab to the market, Modelling, Grouping & Read Across Approaches, Risk Governance

Draft School Agenda

A draft version of the school agenda is available:


School Location

The training school will take place in San Servolo (Venice, Italy).

The School will start at 15.30 CET on 22nd March 2020 and will end on 27 March 2020 at 13.30 CET.

Registration and Abstract Submissions

The event is free of charge.

Please submit your abstract and register for the school HERE:



  • Attendance of the school is possible without abstract submissions.
  • Early carrier researchers are considered PhD students, PhDs and Post-Docs within 10 years after completing their PhD studies.
  • Successful authors of oral and poster presentations will be notified by 30th January 2020.
  • The maximum number of attendees is limited to 80. Authors selected for oral or poster presentations will have a reserved place. Regular registrations will be on-a-first-come-first served basis.


  • Registration and abstract submission opens on 10th December 2019
  • Abstract submission closes on 10th January 2020
  • Notification of accepted abstracts: 30th January 2020
  • Deadline for registrations: 20th February 2020

School Certificates

Each participant will be given a Certificate of attendance upon request.


Scientific enquiries:

Danail Hristozov, GreenDecision (Italy) | danail.hristozov@greendecision.eu

Stella Stoycheva, Yordas Group (UK) | s.stoycheva@yordasgroup.com

Susanne Resch, BioNanoNet (Austria) | susanne.resch@bionanonet.at

Logistics, local support and administration:

Chiara Mignani, GreenDecision (Italy) | management@greendecision.eu


GreenDecision (Venice, IT) 

Institute of Occupational Medicine (Edinburgh, UK)

Yordas Group (Forchheim, DE)

Warrant Hub S.p.A (Casalecchio di Reno, IT)

BioNanoNet Forschungsgesellschaft mbH (Graz, AT)

NC3RS (London, UK)

Aarhus University (Aarhus, DK)

RIVM (Utrecht, NL)

NILU (Kjeller, NO)

Picture NanoForum 2019

NANORIGO presented at “Nanotechnology for Society” Session during the EuroNanoForum 2019 in Bucharest, Romania

EuroNanoForum 2019 in Bucharest, Romania

NANORIGO was presented by Socieade Portuguesa de Inovação (SPI), one of the NANORIGO project partner which was invited to the EuroNanoForum 2019 (https://www.euronanoforum2019.eu/) as NANO2ALL project Coordinator to present the NANO2ALL (http://www.nano2all.eu/) project ROADMAP: FOR A MORE INCLUSIVE NANOTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT IN EUROPE. The presentation was delivered by Dr. Olga Glumac, SPI consultant in the International Area under the Pillar 2 – NANO for People and within session 2.3 Nanotechnology for Society on June 12th in Bucharest, Romania.

Over the past decades, awareness has grown that the impact of technologies is not always predictable, and unintended or unforeseeable consequences might occur. This unpredictability is inherent in the increasing complexity of new and emerging technologies (including nanotechnology) and their development processes. Inclusive (societal engagement) approaches implemented under the terms of responsible research and innovation (RRI) can enable the identification and integration of inputs from stakeholders and the public into decision-making on research and innovation (R&I), contributing to the development of socially acceptable and desirable research and products.

NANO2ALL included diverse mapping and participatory activities (including citizen and multi-stakeholder dialogues across Europe) to explore what is required to foster the implementation of such inclusive approaches in nanotechnology development in Europe. NANO2ALL found that there are several conditions that have to be in place simultaneously in order to truly enhance societal engagement across nanotechnology R&I value chains. Outcomes from the mapping and participatory activities and the identified conditions were further explored through desk research and expert consultation. Key findings and recommended actions were developed into a roadmap. The recommended actions are to be undertaken by EU-level and national decision-makers for creating the necessary conditions for enhanced inclusiveness in nanotechnology R&I decision-making processes.

NANORIGO was presented as an example of on-going Horizon 2020 project that can be used as a platform to implement continuous societal engagement and trust building in Society as the project aims at developing and implementing a transparent, transdisciplinary and science-based Risk Governance Framework (RGF) and related Council for managing nanotechnology risks regarding social, environmental and economic benefits. The project will work closely with other two projects: RiskGONE (https://riskgone.eu/) and Gov4Nano (https://www.gov4nano.eu/).

Some session during EuroNanoForum 2019 in Bucharest, Romania
Participants of EuroNanoForum 2019 in Bucharest, Romania
During a session at EuroNanoForum 2019

Horizon 2020 Project “NANORIGO: NANOtechnology RIsk Governance” officially launched during the kick-off meeting at Moesgaard Museum in Aarhus, Denmark

Moesgaard Museum, Aarhus Denmark, location of NANORIGO Kick-off Meeting.

A new Horizon 2020 Project “NANORIGO: NANOtechnology RIsk Governance” officially launched during its kick-off meeting which was held on the 7th – 8th of February 2019 at Moesgaard Museum in  Aarhus, Denmark.

The 4-year long, €4.7 million project is coordinated by Aarhus University from Denmark and received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under the Grant Agreement nº 814530. NANORIGO project aims to develop and implement a transparent, transdisciplinary and active Risk Governance Framework (RGF) and establish the basis a related Council (RGC) for manufactured nanomaterials and nano-enabled products.

The RGF will be developed through engagement with stakeholders across research, industry, regulation and civil society, and will be based on high-quality scientific data and tools for the physicochemical characterization of nanomaterials, and the assessment of exposure, hazard and risk for humans and the environment.

The two-days meeting discussed in details each of the Work Package within the project, dissemination exploitation, and collaboration with other projects (including other governance projects), and implemented breakout group sessions for interrelated Work Packages.    

The project will be started with an in-depth research on of risk management approach for nanotechnology; to integrate available knowledge on ethical, social, environmental and economic concerns into a user-friendly format that can be easily adapted and transferred into regulation for hazard, exposure and risk assessment and management of nanomaterials.

The expected results of NANORIGO project are the following:

  • A transparent, self-sustained and science-based Risk Governance Council;
  • Transparent Risk Governance Framework (RGF) tools for managing possible nanotechnologies risks;
  • Availability of high quality data for decision making;
  • Consistency of approaches in all EU Member States and internationally.

The partnership of NANORIGO is involving 28 partners from 14 different European countries and a global advisory board. The partnership consists of the following organisations: Aarhus University (DK – Coordinator), Environmental Assessments (DE), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (CH), Tyoterveyslaitos (FI), Eidgenössischer Materialprüfungs- und forschungsanstalt (CH), Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und –prüfung (DE), Instituto tecnológico del tmbalaje, transporte y logística (ES), ‘Fraunhofer Society; Institute for Molecular Biology & Applied Ecology’ (DE), Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (DE), National Technical University of Athens (EL), Paris-Lodron-Universität Salzburg (AT), University of Bremen (DE), Universität für Bodenkultur Wien (AT), University of Aveiro (PT), Univerza v Ljubljani (SI), Transgero Ltd. (IE), Onderzoek en Adviesgroep Questions (NL), ‘Answers and More BV: Bureau KLB’ (NL), De Proeffabriek – Schuurbiers Daniel (NL), Engineering, Technical & Scientific Services (CH), ‘Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology e.V – DECHEMA’ (DE), Optimat Ltd (UK), Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação (PT), Fundación Gaiker (ES), Grupo Antolin Ingeniería (ES), ‘Oeko-Institut e.V. Institute for Applied Ecology (DE), European Environmental Citizen Organisations for Standardisation – ECOS (BE), Quercus ANCN (PT), and Women Engage for a Common Future France – WECF (FR).

The NANORIGO consortium will work closely with the two other projects funded under the NMBP-13-2018 call: RiskGONE (https://riskgone.eu/) and Gov4Nano (https://www.gov4nano.eu/), to ensure a sustainable and equitable RGF and NRGC is developed for all.

NANORIGO project partners at the kick-off meeting
Dr. Janeck James Scott-Fordsmand from AU, NANORIGO Project Coordinator, opened the Kick-off Meeting
Dr. Rudolf Reuther from ENAS, NANORIGO Scientific Coordinator, presented the project overview.
NANORIGO partners exchanged ideas and discussion during the Kick-off Meeting