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NanoEcoInteractions is a project focused on the visualisation and quantification of nanoparticle interactions with aquatic species, including application of High Content Analysis to nanoecosafety assessment.

Engineered nanomaterials are able to access many compartments of living systems not usually accessible to bulk materials. Nanoparticles currently in use, or nearly so, in industry will be studied as a priority. By labelling these particles, representative biological and environmental fate as a function of size will be studied by tracking and imaging methods. Using established biological methods and ‘omics’ techniques as a reference, high throughput automated methods (such as High Content Analysis) will be adapted to give lead information on a wide range of undesirable impacts on organisms.

NanoEcoInteractions is a collaboration between:


Environmental Protection Agency



Postdoctoral Fellows

Postgraduate Students

University College Cork


  • Prof. Michael Morris

Dublin Institute of Technology


  • Prof. Hugh Byrne
  • Dr. Ailbhe Macken
  • Maria Casado

Representative Publications

  • Naha P. C., Bhattacharya K., Tenuta T., Dawson, K.A., Lynch I., Gracia A., Lyng F M., Byrne H. J. Intracellular localisation, geno- and cytotoxic response of polyN-isopropylacrylamide (PNIPAM) nanoparticles to human keratinocyte (HaCaT) and colon cells (SW 480). 2010, Toxicol Lett. Epub ahead of print]
  • Bexiga, M., Varela, J., Wang, F., Fenaroli, F., Salvati, A., Lynch, I., Simpson, J. C., Dawson, K.A. Cationic nanoparticles induce caspase 3-, 7- and 9-mediated cytotoxicity in a human astrocytoma cell line. Nanotoxicology, 2010 Dec 15. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Naha, P.C., Casey, A., Tenuta, T., Lynch, I., Dawson, K.A., Byrne, H.J., Davoren, M. Preparation, characterization of NIPAM and NIPAM/BAM copolymer nanoparticles and their acute toxicity testing using an aquatic test battery. Aquat Toxicol. 2009, 92, 146-154.
  • Shapero K, Fenaroli F, Lynch I, Cottell DC, Salvati A, Dawson KA. Time and space resolved uptake study of silica nanoparticles by human cells. Mol Biosyst 2011, 7, 371-378.