Thesis Project Description:
Nanoparticles (NP) have emerged as a new type of atmospheric pollution, in particular Cerium dioxide nanoparticles (Ce02NP) diesel additives, which are released in exhaust fumes of vehicles, therein present in the atmosphere surrounding urban centers and main roads.
The potential impacts of exposure of couples and pregnant women to the atmospheric pollution on the fertility and pregnancy are a major concern for public health. Since 2011, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) considers the evaluation of NP potential toxicity as a priority. My PhD project aims at better understanding the impacts of atmospheric pollution by CeO2NP on reproductive health: fertility and development.
All previous scientific works were conducted with an exposure to pristine Ce02NP but during combustion in an engine, physicochemical properties of Ce02NP are expected to change. From these new properties depend biological and environmental impacts. It is therefore very important to study the environmental fate and biological impact of combusted nanoparticles. This has never been done, although these are experimental conditions much closer to realistic exposure conditions.
As gametes quality plays a vital role in ontogenesis, the goal of the project is to study the impact of Ce02 NP on rat’s male and female gametes, embryos and reproductive tract after nose only subchronic exposition. Biological effects, (bio)distribution et (bio)transformation of CeO2NP will be studied in reproduction relevant compartments.
The methodology involves an in vivo chronical respiratory exposure, to very low dose of airborne combusted Ce02NP using a dry powder aerosoliser to mimic the realistic human conditions.
This interdisciplinary PhD project is sustained by a research network composed from national research centers, CEREGE (Aix en Provence), IMBE (Marseille), INRA (Jouy en Josas), INERIS (Verneuil en Halatte).
Interdisciplinary Research Axis:
Master in Biology of Reproduction and cell differentiation, Federico II University, Naples, Italy