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Evaluation of the respiratory bioreactivity of nanopesticides and development of safe, effective pesticides


The main aim of this cooperation is to investigate the possible unwanted effects of existing and novel nanopesticides which are under development (Brazilian group), using highly relevant in vitro models of the human alveolar respiratory unit (Imperial Group) in order to discover effects on non target organisms, in this case, following inhalation by humans. In the face of new nanopesticide development a major route of exposure to farmers in the field is the respiratory tract, due to the main form of application of many kinds of pesticide as sprays, when formulation aerosol could reach the lungs of humans and provoke an adverse response. In order to address these possibilities, Dr. Fraceto's group will develop the nanocarrier systems containing bioactive compounds (botanicals insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, insect repellents, etc) and these will be provided (with the nanovehicle controls) for Prof. Tetley's group to determine their bioreactivity in the in vitro models. These models will include human alveolar epithelial type 1 and type 2 cells and alveolar macrophages in monoculture and co-culture. The exposure and analyses will be performed at Imperial (toxicity, pro-inflammatory effects, nanoparticle uptake, generation of oxidative stress, cell signaling etc.) and in Brazil (genotoxicity). The results obtained from these nanocarriers will inform on development of new nanopesticide formulations to reduce any observed toxicity and/or unwanted bioreactivity and, in this way, prepare more sustainable, environmentally acceptable pesticide formulations. (AU)