Karolinska Institutet’s NANoREG team uses ISAB’s in vitro cell exposure module

  • 2 december, 2014
  • 15:24

“We achieved an even deposition of our nanoparticles on cover slips, and the system was compact and quick to install.” Dr Hanna Karlsson and her team at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet leased ISAB’s PreciseInhale system to carry out in vitro Air/Liquid Interface (ALI) cell exposures as part of the European NANoREG research project.

“I was concerned before investing in leasing the system about how the deposition would be for nanoparticles,” says Dr Hanna Karlsson, Associate Professor of Environmental Medicine at Karolinska Institutet. “But we achieved very even deposition patterns that we were very happy with.”

The team carried out exposures of cerium oxide (CeO2 ) nanoparticles as part of the Europe-wide NANoREG project into assessing and measuring the environmental and toxicological risks of Manufactured Nano Materials (MNMs), an innovative, increasingly common type of material with high economic potential.

The team deposited CeO2 nanoparticles on collagen coated cover slips as well as on human lung epithelial cells, using PreciseInhale’s in vitro cell exposure module to enable ALI-exposures. “For me the use of ALI-exposures is an important way forward in order to improve the in vitro systems for inhalation studies,” says Dr Karlsson.

Milligrams not grams of scarce test substance
The NANoREG material the Karolinska Institutet team used, CeO2, is a nano-powder derived from the rare earth metal cerium. The ability to run tests using just milligrams, not grams, of this substance was a clear advantage. “It was a positive factor in our decision to lease PreciseInhale,” says Dr Karlsson. “We knew about this before the test, and the amount we used this time was much less compared to our previous experiences using another system.”

PreciseInhale: Compact – and mobile
ISAB has long emphasized the mobility and flexibility of PreciseInhale. So how did the Karolinska Institutet team find the installation? Was it difficult setting the system up for a short-term lease?

“No. This is a mobile, flexible system you can move from one lab to another. It took just one day to set up,” says Dr Karlsson. “Our ISAB partner Maria Börjel was onsite to help me set it up. We started with depositions onto coated cover slips, and then carried out the cellular exposures ourselves successfully. We got clear guidance and training from Maria. We were pleased with how compact the system was too. It didn’t take up much space at all in our already crowded lab.”

More weight to in vitro findings: Strategic benefits
“We would definitely be interested in using the system again. This is a high-benefit tool,” says Dr Karlsson. “To use ALI exposures is not a new idea in the particle-inhalation field. But with a system like PreciseInhale that is easier to use, and with future validations to in vivo studies, I hope that this more sophisticated in vitro methodology can generate better data to be used in the risk assessment of nanoparticles.”

3R compliance
Dr Karlsson emphasizes the 3Rcompliance the system allows. 3R – replacing, refining and reducing the number of animals in research – is increasingly important in all research, and funding of 3R research is increasing significantly. “Better in vitro system can enable 3R work of a high quality,” says Dr Karlsson. “We had heard about the strengths of PreciseInhale’s in vitro ALI cell exposure module beforehand, which is why we wanted to hire it. And so far the system has delivered well.”

Maria Börjel, ISAB’s product development specialist for in vitro studies, installed the system onsite at Karolinska Institutet: “We are delighted that the team at Karolinska Institutet sees the positive return on investment they made from hiring PreciseInhale. Hiring the system shows Karolinska Institutet’s absolute commitment to innovation and excellence.”

ISAB CEO Fredrik Sjövall: ”This illustrates the versatility and flexibility of our system. It is always good to get great feedback from a customer who set us a challenging task. And it shows that our technology is mature enough to really deliver on even challenging substances.”