BIORIMA FINAL MEETING
The BIORIMA Project held its final meeting from 17th – 18th January, a large, well-attended gathering of project members from all partner organisations, the External Advisory Board, and Marcello Cacace, the Project Officer from the EC.
Following a welcome and introduction from Lang Tran, the BIORIMA Project Coordinator from the Institute of Occupational Medicine, the meeting quickly got down to business with its first workshop on the Physicochemical characterisation work involved in the Integrated Risk Management system, with Anna Costa (ISTEC) as Chair. Presentations delivered to a captive audience included Fe3O4 PEG PLGA: preparation, application, and new perspectives by Costanza. Ravagli (Colorobbia); Biotransformation of NBM in relevant fluids by Ivana Fenoglio (UNITO); New methods assessing surface reactivity of NBM by Miguel Banares (CSIC); and Methods of NBM radio-labelling for their bio-distribution study by Sergio Moya (CIC)
Workshop 2, chaired by Bernd Nowack from EMPA, examined the findings and results of investigations into exposure of nanobiomaterials to humans and the environment, leading to fruitful discussions. The session began with a presentation of the Material flows of NBM to the environment by Bernd Nowack (EMPA), followed by a look at the Release of NBM, co-presented by Burkhard Stahlmecke (IUTA). Adeline Tarantini, Sébastien Artous (CEA), and Enrico Bergamaschi (UNITO) concluded this workshop delivering their insight into exposure monitoring and biomonitoring of NBM, as developed during the project.
The third and final workshop of the day focused on human health and the environment. Chaired by Bengt Fadeel (Karolinska Institute) and Janeck Scott-Fordsmand (Aarhus University), the presentations centred in in-vivo animal work, environmental work, a human tox in-vitro round robin, and related discussions.
Day two commenced with workshop 4: Lessons learned from case studies, chaired by Carlos Fito (ITENE). The presentations looked at the conclusions drawn from the case studies alongside the main lessons and impacts of the BIORIMA IRM Framework on the nanomedicine value chain - Carlos Fito. Rudolf Reuther (ENAS) followed with a look at the implementation of key tools and methods developed for a safer and sustainable use of NBMs in MD and ATMP. The workshop concluded with Carlos Fito presenting future actions using BIORIMA outcomes to create safer NBMs and ensure product and process safety.
Danail Hristozov (UNIVE) introduced workshop 5: Risk assessment and management of NBMS used in medical applications: from theory to practice. The BIORIMA Risk Management Framework was then presented by Elisa Giubilato (GD/UNIVE) before Vicki Stone (Heriot Watt University) took the floor to give an overview of Integrated Approaches for Testing and Assessment (IATA) to support NBM risk assessment. A demonstration of the BIORIMA DSS for risk assessment and management of NBMs given by Alex Zabeo (GD) enabled participants to gain valuable insight into the system. The workshop concluded with a look at Risk assessment and management case studies by Virginia Cazzagon (UNIVE); and BIORIMA in silico models for NBM by Cristianna Gousiadou / Harry Sarimveis (NTUA)
The final workshop of the internal event confirmed BIORIMA's success in going the extra mile: above and beyond the call of duty with its COVID-19 related work, led by a designated Task Force. Bengt Fadeel introduced the session by highlighting the importance of these activities in the current climate. This was followed by Lang Tran, who provided clarity and insight into the pathogenesis of long-term COVID-19. Terry Wilkins (Leeds University) took up the baton with an examination of the Safety of PEGylated Nanoparticles, which was followed by a look at Ag nanoparticles as anti-SARS-CoV-2 Agents, by Govind Gupta (KI). The workshop concluded with an eye-opening Risk Assessment of Ag in Face-masks, delivered by Virginia Cazzagon (UNIVE).
Having reached the end of the workshop programme, the meeting turned to Lisa Bregoli (WH) for an update and summary of BIORIMA's dissemination highlights, which took the audience on a tour through BIORIMA's public engagement strategy, social media initiatives, participation at conferences and events, prolific publication record, press releases and newsletters, among many other activities.
In the feedback and closing comments from the BIORIMA External Advisory Board, Marcello Cacace (EC) and Lang Tran (IOM), it was apparent that despite the many challenges, the BIORIMA partners had committed themselves to four years of trailblazing research and paved a clear, robust route to future initiatives in the risk assessment and management of nbms in biomedical applications. All agreed that it has been an unforgettable experience that can be drawn on in future collaborations.
Project Coordinator, Lang Tran, and EC Project Officer, Marcello Cacace.
Bengt Fadeel (KI) introduces the workshop on COVID-10 related activities
Some of the many participants at BIORIMA's Final Event