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Oct 8, 2017

The effect on human health of Ag/TiO2NM – treated leathers for footwear industry

NANO_SAFE-LEATHER is an ERANET SIINN project and intends to contribute to the safe use of NMs in large consumer goods by researching the Ag/TiO2NMs with multifunctional properties on leather surface and the techniques for safe deposition (classical and innovative methods). 

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The need for innovation and bulk materials replacement (volatile organic compounds being in the continuous attention of REACH regulation) is high and the preparation for the extensive use of NMs will be anticipated by NANO_SAFE_LEATHER project. The high expertise of two universities (UNIVERSIDADE DO MINHO and Montan Universität Leoben), two research institutes (R&D National Institute for Textiles and Leather-Leather and Footwear Research Institute Division and Institute of Cellular Biology and Pathology "Nicolae Simionescu") in consortium with an industrial partner (SC TARO COMMIMPEX LTD) will enrich the knowledge in the area of risk assessment of the use of NMs in industrial conditions and on the consumers in relation to the use of footwear. 

The project brings important contributions to the main topics of SIINN call such as exposure assessment, toxicity mechanisms and effects of MNM on human health through the proposed objectives regarding: 

► Estimation of Ag/TiO2NMs handling risks and dose concentration exposure risks. 
► Experimental on leather surface functionalization with Ag/TiO2NMs by integration in film-forming polymeric composites and application using current spraying technologies. 
► Experimental on leather surface functionalization with Ag/TiO2NMs by plasma pre-treatment and sputtering deposition techniques. 
► Evaluation of leather surface new properties: antimicrobial, self-cleaning and flame retardant together with wearing simulation tests in view of Ag/TiO2NMs release survey. 
► Dose-response studies of toxicological properties of Ag/TiO2NMs released by leather surface. 
► In vitro assessment of the impact of MNMs and leather finished with MNMs, on different human cell lines using cytotoxicity analysis and cellular morphology. 
► The investigation of cell death mechanisms and of the intracellular signaling pathways activated by MNMs. 
► The cytotoxicity study on skin fibroblast cells of leather surface functionalized with Ag/TiO2NMs. 
► The study of Ag/TiO2NMs on human lung epithelial cells with the aim of evaluation of the inhalation effects on human health. 
► The toxicity study on water and artificial sweat leachable Ag/TiO2NMs on human skin cells and human epithelial alveolar cells. 
► In silico approach which tests experimental data by computer simulation analysis, will provide information on the potential changes induced by the NPs on cellular morphology and will help build a domain ontology. 
► Evaluation of surface functionalization technologies efficiency in terms of Ag/TiO2NMs release and human health risk assessment. 
► Understanding the toxicity mechanism induced by soluble Ag/TiO2NMs; nano and ionic species generations in wearing simulated conditions of wearing.