16.07.2019 16:30


Predictive 3D epithelial tissue models – opportunities and limitations

Prof. Dr. Barbara Rothen-Rutishauser, BioNanomaterials, Adolphe Merkle Institute, University of Fribourg, Switzerland, will give a presentation entitled “Predictive 3D epithelial tissue models – opportunities and limitations”.

    The human body can be exposed to nanomaterials through a variety of different routes. As nanomaterials get in contact with the skin, the gastrointestinal tract, and the respiratory tract, these biological compartments are acting as barriers to the passage of nano-sized materials into the organism. These structural and functional barriers are provided by the epithelia serving as an interface between biological compartments. In order to initiate the reduction, refinement and replacement of time consuming, expensive and stressful (to the animals) in vivo experimental approaches, many in vitro (human) epithelial cell culture models have been developed during the last decades. Such models are described to simulate the human lung, skin as well as intestine epithelial tissue barrier and the choice of the model and the mode of nanomaterial exposure depends on the relevant scenario to be studied. Simple mono-cultures as well as highly sophisticated 3D models, involving different cell types which represent a more realistic physiological situation, are described.
    In this presentation an overview about various models will be given including an insight into ongoing research projects in the group to study the hazard of aerosolized nanomaterials such as e.g. carbon nanotubes with lung tissue, the interaction of micro- and nanoplastic particles with a novel intestine model and finally the effect of ambient air particles on skin properties using a reconstructed epidermal model.

    Curriculum vitae

    Prof. Dr. Barbara Rothen-Rutishauser has received her Ph.D. in 1996 in cell biology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. From 1996 to 2000 she held a post-doctoral position in Biopharmacy at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the ETH and in 2000 she joined Prof. Peter Gehr’s research group at the University of Bern, Switzerland as a postdoc. After promotion to group leader in 2006 she completed her habilitation in cell biology in 2009. B. Rothen-Rutishauser is an expert in the field of cell-nanoparticle interactions in the lung, with a special focus on 3D lung cell models and various microscopy techniques such as laser scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Since 2011 she is the new chair in BioNanomaterials at the Adolphe Merkle Institute, University of Fribourg, Switzerland, the position is shared equally with Prof. Alke Fink. The research group’s activities stretch over many fields from material synthesis and characterization to biological responses and hazard assessment. Prof. Rothen-Rutishauser has published more than 220 peer-reviewed papers and is an associate editor of the journal “Particle and Fibre Toxicology”.


    16.07.2019 16:30


    HIPS Saarbrücken

    Building and room

    Building E8.1, Seminar Room/Ground Floor


    Prof. Dr. Claus-Michael Lehr

    Involved Groups

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