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Nanomedicine & Nanotoxicology

This was led by Dr Margaret Saunders, Consultant Clinical Scientist and previous Head of BIRCH. The work involved the study of environmental toxin exposure and child health, specialising in both in vitro and ex vivo placental barrier models and the mechanisms of placental transfer and toxicity of chemicals to which the mother may be exposed during pregnancy. 


  1. Hawkins SJ et al. (2018) Nanoparticle-induced neuronal toxicity across placental barriers is mediated by autophagy and dependent on astrocytes.  Nature Nanotechnology 13(5): 427-433
  2. Barbour ME et al. (2016) Chlorhexidine hexametaphosphate as a wound care material coating: antimicrobial efficacy, toxicity and effect on healing.  Nanomedicine (Lond.) (2016) 11(16), 2049-2057
  3. Cowie H et al. (2015) Suitability of human and mammalian cells of different origin for the assessment of genotoxicity of metal and polymeric engineered nanoparticles.  Nanotoxicol. 9: Suppl 1, 57-65.
  4. Dusinska M et al. (2015) Towards an alternative testing strategy for nanomaterials used in nanomedicine: lessons from NanoTEST.  Nanotoxicol.  9: Suppl 1, 118-32.
  5. Correia Carreira S, Walker L, Paul KB, and Saunders M (2015) In vitro models of the human placental barrier - In regione caecorum rex est luscus.  Nanotoxicol. 9: Suppl 1, 135-6
  6. Correia Carreira S, Walker L, Paul K, and Saunders M (2015).  The toxicity, transport and uptake of nanoparticles in the in vitro BeWo b30 placental cell barrier model used within NanoTEST.  Nanotoxicol. 9, Suppl 1: 66-78
  7. Rina Guadagnini et al. (2015) Toxicity screenings of nanomaterials: challenges due to interference with assay processes and components of classic in vitro tests.  Nanotoxicol.  9, Suppl. 1: 13-24
  8. Bhabra G et al. (2009) Nanoparticles can cause DNA damage across a cellular barrier. Nature Nanotechnology 4(12): 876-883
  9. Saunders M (2009) Advanced review: Transplacental transport of nanomaterials. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Nanomed Nanobiotechnol. 1(6): 671-684