Exposome assessment of emerging contaminants in the aquatic environment

What is AQUASOME project?

Aquasome is a multi and inter-disciplinary project aimed at addressing the social concern on the increase in concentration levels of emerging contaminants, including microplastics and associated chemicals, in different compartments of the aquatic ecosystem and food webs, and their eventual impact on human health for which exposure pathways need to be elucidated. The project is focussed on the development of screening methods based on the use of high throughput methodologies for exploring the occurrence of emerging contaminants linked to human exposure and lifestyle while elucidating the most toxic fractions according to a set of in-vitro and in-vivo bioassays and their mechanisms of toxicity action. 

The project studies the human exposome through these main research lines:  

  • Effect directed analysis (EDA)
  • Physiologically relevant bioaccessibility tests (PBETs) for seafood commodities
  • In-vitro cytotoxicity testing
  • Metabolomics 
  • Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE)
  • Development of automated flow setups and miniaturized fluidic platforms based on innovative 3D printing and integrating optical/electrochemical biosensors

Scope of the AQUASOME project

Work packages (WP) and tasks

  • WP1. Toolbox of new analytical methods
  • Screening based on HRMS,  target quantitative methods, development of 3D-printed mesofluidic devices, novel materials and separation media for on-line preconcentration & clean-up, biosensors for in-situ detection based on plasmonic nanoparticles and plastics and microplastics.
  • WP2. Effect-directed analysis (EDA)
  • Sampling and fractionation, standard ecotoxicology tests and bioassays, miniaturized platforms for in-vitro cytotoxicity assays
  • WP3. Wastewater based epidemiology - WBE
  • Selection of biomarkers, biomarker stability assessment and method validation, human exposome characterization via WBE
  • WP4. Adverse outcome pathways (AOP)
  • Exposure experiments, metabolomic and toxicokinetic analysis, 3D-printed flow platforms for kinetic bioaccessibility tests, bioaccessibility of incurred or adsorbed contaminants in plastic pellets, bioavailability tests exploiting liposomes and permeation through cell lines
  • WP5. Project coordination & management, formation program and dissemination
AQUASOME project
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