Research lines

research activities of NanoToxGen group are focused on the field of Health Sciences,
and specifically on the research area of Toxicology. 

Research line 1: Nanotoxicology

of the main research lines of the group focuses on the study of the interaction
between nanomaterials and biological systems, the evaluation of the
biocompatibility of these compounds and the factors that influence it, and the
characterization of the possible toxicological effects of nanomaterials in
different in vitro and in vivo systems. This line also includes the development
and validation of new specific tools for biomonitoring studies and nanotoxicity

Research line 2: Testing of
compounds with potential biomedical applications

of the group´s research lines consists of the synthesis, characterization and
testing of compounds with potential biomedical applications. In particular,
this line focuses mainly on the synthesis and physicochemical characterization
of new vanadium and molybdenum complexes. Their catalytic activity and the
analysis of their biological activity are also addressed to evaluate their
potential as enzyme mimetic compounds and antitumor agents.

Research line 3: Identification
and validation of biomarkers for risk assessment

the group´s third line of research involves the use of biomarkers, model
organisms and cell systems to assess the effects of environmental and
occupational exposure to known or emerging pollutants on health and the
environment. This line also includes the development of new cellular and
molecular biomarkers for the early identification of different pathologies or
medical conditions, focusing in particular on frailty syndrome in the older

Ongoing projects

Evaluation of risk associated with exposure to nanomaterials: in vitro, in vivo and in silico toxicity approaches (NanoAssess). Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. 2021-2024.

NM exposure is an emerging potential risk because the possible toxic effects of the great majority of NM have not been characterized yet and, given their new properties, it is quite possible that they differ markedly from the biological effects of the same material when found at a larger scale. Moreover, standard toxicology assays are often not adequate for nanotoxicity screening, since NM may interfere with reagents or detection methods. The general objective of NanoAssess project is to assess the potential adverse effects of different engineered NM with commercial or biomedical interest and to develop nanotoxicity computational models. To reach the proposed objective, the research work plan will include (i) the validation of cytogenetic and molecular tools for specific evaluation of NM effects; (ii) the toxicity evaluation, both in vitro (2D and 3D cell cultures) and in vivo (zebrafish), of the study NM, i.e. conjugated metal nanoparticles (gold, platinum and silver), and (iii) the development, on the basis of the obtained results, of computational – in silico – tools to determine the most relevant experimental conditions and physicochemical features to be considered in nanotoxicology risk assessment.

Partnership for the assessment of risks from chemicals (PARC), Eu Horizon 2020 Programme. 2022-2029.

NanoToxGen participate in the Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals (PARC) project. PARC is an EU-wide research and innovation partnership programme to support EU and national chemical risk assessment and risk management bodies with new data, knowledge, methods, networks and skills to address current, emerging and novel chemical safety challenges. PARC aims to develop next-generation chemical risk assessment to protect human health and the environment. It supports the European Union’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability and the European Green Deal’s “Zero pollution” ambition with new data, knowledge, methods and tools, expertise and networks. PARC will meet the needs of risk assessment agencies to better anticipate emerging risks and respond to the challenges and priorities of the new European policies. 

INGested nanomaterials and metal MIXtures in food: developing integrated strategies to support human health risk assessment and regulatory frameworks (MixIng-Tox). Portuguese Funding Agency for Science and Technology. 2023-2026.

Nanotechnology has many applications in the food industry. Yet, there is growing concern about the potential adverse health effects resulting from the use of engineered nanomaterials (NM) as food additives. Evidence of toxicity associated with ingested NM continues to grow, but several critical knowledge gaps exist, preventing regulators and industry from assessing the potential health risks. Another concern is overlooking of mixture phenomena, as other chemicals, namely metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury, can be found in food resulting from different sources. In this context, the main goal of MixingTOX project is to investigate the potential toxic effects of ingested NM (iNM) and iNM-metal mixtures and to assess the transferability, reproducibility and robustness of the methodology through an international collaborative trial. 


NanoToxGen works in collaboration with several national and international groups, including the following ones


  • Unit of Clinical and Molecular Epidemiology, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico San Raffaele Pisana (Rome, Italy), Dr. Stefano Bonassi.
  • Environmental Health Department. National Health Institute Dr. Ricardo Jorge (Portugal), Dr. João Paulo Teixeira.
  • Division of Biological Chemistry, Biocenter, Innsbruck Medical University (Austria), Dr. Dietmar Fuchs.
  • Department of Toxicology, Gazi University (Ankara, Turkey), leaded by Bensu Karahalil.
  • Epidemiology Research Unit (EPIUnit). Institute of Public Health of the University of Porto (Portugal). Dr. Carla Costa and Dr. Solange Costa.
  • Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen (Denmark), Dr. Peter Moller.
  • Institut Nanosciences et Cryogénie, Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (Grenoble, France), Dr. Marie Carriere.
  • Division of Biomedical Sciences, University of Bradford (United Kingdom), Dr. Diana Anderson.


  • Behavioral and Molecular Diagnosis Applied to Health Research Group (DICOMOSA),University of A Coruña, Dr. Eduardo Pásaro Méndez and Dr. Blanca Laffon.
  • Molecular Self-Assembly and Nanomaterials Lab (Nanoself) University of A Coruña, Dr. Alejandro Criado and Dr. Jesús Mosquera.
  • Vertebrate Neuroanatomy Research Group (NEUROVER) University of A Coruña, Dr. Mónica Folgueira.
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology Department, University of Navarra. Dr. Amaya Azqueta.
  • Gerontology Group, University of A Coruña, Dr. José Carlos Millán Calenti, Dr. Laura Lorenzo and Dr. Ana Maseda.
  • Synthetic and Catalytic Methodologies (SynCatMeth) Research Group University of A Coruña, Dr. Montserrat Martínez.

Honours and Awards

Research prizes received by members of the group include:

  • Dolores Trigo Research Award. 2021
  • Royal Academy of Medicine and Surgery of Valladolid Award 2020.
  • IAGG-ER Emergent Scholar Award, 2019. International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics to an emergent scientist in the field of ageing research working at a European institution.
  • European Young Scientist Award 2015. European Environmental Mutagen and Genomics Society (EEMGS).
  • Scientist Award from the Galician Royal Academy of Sciences. 2015.
  • Dolores Trigo Research Award. 2013.
  • Young Scientist Award from the Galician Royal Academy of Sciences. 2008.


Centro Interdisciplinar de Química e Bioloxía, As Carballeiras, s/n, Campus de Elviña 15071 A Coruña, España


Facultade de Ciencias Campus A Zapateira, S/N 15008 A Coruña

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