University of Plymouth has been a key player in environmental nanoscience for the last decade and leading especially on the aquatic ecotoxicology of engineered nanomaterials, although the research also encompasses work on a range of organisms such as microbes, invertebrates, fishes and mammals including humans.
In addition to national project grants, the research group led by Professor Richard Handy has been a partner in several EU projects including MARINA, NANOSOLUTIONS, SUN, and currently NanoFASE on the bioaccumulation testing of engineered nanomaterials.
Crucially, our interests are driven by fundamental mechanistic understanding of the mode of action of nanomaterials and chemicals in biological systems. Tools in the laboratory include classical approaches such as genotoxicology, target organ pathology and biomarkers, through to state-of-the-art systems biology. The nanosafety research extends to nanomedicine and dentistry, with nanomaterial safety for medical implants and the antimicrobial properties of nanomaterials being of special interest. Our research is also applied with staff advising on national and international committees, as well as working on international test guidelines for the OECD.