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INOS – Identification and Assessment of the Effects of Engineered NanOparticleS on Human and Environmental Health

INOS (Jan 2006 – Apr 2009), has developed methods based on in-vitro testing for evaluating the hazard potential of engineered nanoparticles. The hazards analysis was based on a comprehensive investigation into the behaviour of nanoparticles and the changes they undergo in different cell culture media, their reaction with cytosol components such as salts and proteins, changes in pH and the interaction of nanoparticles with cells as a function of their size, physicochemical nature and surface composition.

Research concentrated on ceramic and metallic particles such as diamond, tungsten carbide, titanium dioxide, titanium carbon nitride, cobalt, platinum, ceramic metal compounds, as well as carbon nanotubes and carbon black. The materials differ in structure, chemical bonding and chemical stability, as well as in their dissolution and dispersion behaviour in aqueous media so that clear differences were expected in the reactions of cells with these particles. Scientists hope to be able to transfer and apply the knowledge they gain here to the testing of other materials.

Various human and animal cells, such as pulmonary and intestinal epithelial cells, epidermis cells, neurons and glial cells were used as cell lines or primary cells for cytotoxicological investigations. Vitality, general stress response (e.g. changes in protein expression), oxidative stress, inflammatory and immune modulating effects, gene toxicity, cell death, etc. will be examined.


Grant Number: BMBF - FKZ 03X0013
Duration: 01.01.2006 - 30.04.2009

Project Lead

TU Dresden Logo weiss-blau
Prof. Wolfgang Pompe, TU Dresden (01/2006 - 01/2007)
Fraunhofer IKTS Logo
Dr. Volkmar Richter, Fraunhofer-Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS) (02/ 2007 - 04/2009)

Project Partners

TU Dresden Logo weiss-blau
TU Dresden, Dresden (DE)
Fraunhofer IKTS Logo
Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS), Dresden (DE)
UFZ Logo German
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Leipzig (DE)
Namos GmbH Logo
Namos GmbH
Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials (MBC) Logo
Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials (MBC), Dresden (DE)
Uniklinikum Dresden Logo
University Hospital Carl Gustav Clarus Dresden



  • Böhme, S., H.-J. Stärk, T. Meißner, A. Springer, T. Reemtsma, D. Kühnel, W. Busch (2014). „Quantification of Al2O3 nanoparticles in human cell lines applying inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (neb-ICP-MS, LA-ICP-MS) and flow cytometry-based methods”. J Nanopart Res 16: 2592.


  • Busch, W., S. Bastian, U. Trahorsch, M. Iwe, D. Kuehnel, T. Meissner, A. Springer, M. Gelinsky, V. Richter, C. Ikonomidou, A. Potthoff, I. Lehmann, K. Schirmer (2011). Internalisation of engineered nanoparticles into mammalian cells in vitro: influence of cell type and particle properties. J Nanopart Res 13(1): 293-310.


  • Meissner, T., D. Kuehnel, W. Busch, S. Oswald, V. Richter, A. Michaelis, K. Schirmer, A. Potthoff (2010). Physical-chemical characterization of tungsten carbide nanoparticles as a basis for toxicological investigations. Nanotoxicology 4(2): 196-206.
  • Busch, W., D. Kuehnel, K. Schirmer, S. Scholz (2010). Tungsten carbide cobalt nanoparticles exert hypoxia-like effects on the gene expression level in human keratinocytes. BMC Genomics 11(1): 65.


  • Kuehnel, D., W. Busch, T. Meissner, A. Springer, A. Potthoff, V. Richter, M. Gelinsky, S. Scholz, K. Schirmer (2009). Agglomeration of tungsten carbide nanoparticles in exposure medium does not prevent uptake and toxicity toward a rainbow trout gill cell line. Aquat Toxicol 93(2-3): 91-99.
  • Bastian, S., W. Busch, D. Kuehnel, A. Springer, T. Meissner, R. Holke, S. Scholz, M. Iwe, W. Pompe, M. Gelinsky, A. Potthoff, V. Richter, C. Ikonomidou, K. Schirmer (2009). Toxicity of tungsten carbide and cobalt-doped tungsten carbide nanoparticles in mammalian cells in vitro. Environ Health Perspect 117(4): 530-536.
  • Meissner, T., A. Potthoff, V. Richter (2009). Physico-chemical characterization in the light of toxicological effects. Inhal Toxicol 21 Suppl 1(s1): 35-39.
  • Potthoff, A., T. Meissner, V. Richter, W. Busch, D. Kühnel, S. Bastian, M. Iwe, A. Springer (2009). Evaluation of Health Risks of Nanoparticles – A Contribution to a Sustainable Development of Nanotechnology. Solid State Phenomena 151: 183-189.
  • Meissner, T., A. Potthoff, V. Richter (2009). Suspension characterization as important key for toxicological investigations.J Phys: Conf Ser 170(1): 012012.


  • Richter, V., A. Potthoff, W. Pompe, M. Gelinsky, H. Ikonomidou, S. Bastian, K. Schirmer, S. Scholz, J. Hofinger (2008). Evaluation of health risks of nano- and microparticles. Powder Metallurgy 51(1): 8-9.
  • Richter V, Bastian S. (2008). Bewertung der Gesundheitsrisiken von Nanopartikeln - Ein Beitrag zur nachhaltigen Entwicklung der Nanotechnologie. Journal für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit, 3 (3), Springer-Verlag ISSN 1661-5751.


  • Richter, V., A. Potthof, W. Pompe, M. Gelinsky, H. Ikonomidou, S. Bastia, K. Schirmer, S. Scholz, J. Hofinger (2007). Of fine powders, hardmetals, hazard and health risk. Metal Powder Report 62(11): 12-14.

All available final scientific reports of the NanoExpo consortium can be accessed via the TIB Hannover website  
  • Max-Bergmann-Zentrum für Biomaterialien Dresden & Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus Dresden, Abteilung für Neuropädiatrie (2009).„Abschlussbericht zum BMBF-geförderten Verbundvorhaben: Identifizierung und Bewertung von Gesundheits- und Umweltauswirkungen von technischen nanoskaligen Partikeln (INOS) : Teilprojekte: Arbeitspaket III (TUD-MBZ); Arbeitspaket V (TUD-UKD) ; Teilprojekt: Arbeitspaket III: Aufnahme und subzelluläre Verteilung von Nanopartikeln in Zellen ; Teilprojekt: Arbeitspaket V: Neurotoxizität und Gliotoxizität ; [Laufzeit des Vorhabens: 01.03.2006 - 31.12.2008 (Verlängerung bis 30.04.2009)]". Gelinsky, Michael, Max-Bergmann-Zentrum für Biomaterialien Dresden & Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus Dresden, Abteilung für Neuropädiatrie, FKZ03X0013A, TIB Hannover, DOI:10.2314/GBV:644465239
  • UFZ-Umweltforschungszentrum Leipzig-Halle (2009). „Identifizierung und Bewertung von Gesundheits- und Umweltauswirkungen von technischen nanoskaligen Partikeln (INOS), Teilprojekt Arbeitspaket IV: Toxiokologische Analyse von Nanopartikeln und Identifizierung von Wirkmechanismen : Abschlussbericht ; Laufzeit des Vorhabens: 01.03.2006 - 31.12.2008 (verlängert bis 30.04.2009)"; Scholz, Stefan; Schirmer, Kristin, UFZ-Umweltforschungszentrum Leipzig-Halle, FKZ 03X0013C, TIB Hannover, DOI:10.2314/GBV:655973842.
  • Namos GmbH Dresden (2009). „Identifizierung und Bewertung von Gesundheits- und Umweltauswirkungen von technischen nanoskaligen Partikeln (INOS) : Schlussbericht ; Berichtszeitraum: 01.01.2006 bis 31.12.2008." Zirpel, Kevin, Namos GmbH Dresden, FKZ 03X0013D, TIB Hannover, DOI:10.2314/GBV:646482297.
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