InnovationPublished on 02.02.2022

A new international R&D project for nanoparticle detection

A research collaboration between NanoLockin – a spin-off of the Adolphe Merkle Institute -, the Institute, and German company Vitrocell has been awarded a Eurostars grant worth €1.7 million (CHF 1.8 million). Eurostars is an international funding programme for innovative SMEs.

The AirToxMonitor project partners will aim over the next 3 years to design a novel and versatile platform for non-invasive monitoring airborne nanoparticles and environmental atmospheres in cells or tissues. This system will significantly improve capabilities in the field of hazard assessment, not only for air pollution particles, but also for work environments where for example carbon-based particles such as graphene or carbon nanotubes could be found.

Eurostars is a European joint program, launched by the Eureka research initiative and the European Commission in 2007. A project involves partners from at least two participating Eurostars nations. Consortia are led by an innovative SME from one of these countries. Projects are funded for up to three years.

NanoLockin, a spin-off of the Adolphe Merkle Institute and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, is developing simple and rapid tools for reliable and reproducible analysis of nanoparticle systems. The Adolphe Merkle Institute (AMI) is a leading independent competence center at the University of Fribourg that focuses on interdisciplinary research (polymers, physics, biology, biophysics, and materials) and education in the domain of soft nanomaterials.

Vitrocell Systems is an independent company based in Waldkirch, Germany. It is focused on the development, production, installation, training and servicing of state-of-the-art in vitro exposure systems. These systems are used by leading research institutes, contract research organizations, regulatory authorities, and  industrial laboratories around the world to investigate inhalation toxicology and skin exposure.

The AirToxMonitor project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement No 955756.