The Next Global Frontier.

Nanotechnology, manipulation of extremely small things (at the level of atoms and molecules), is widely regarded as the next global frontier of science, bringing significant economic and societal benefits through major technological breakthroughs that improve quality of life. The field of nano-safety concerns the assessment of the unique health and safety implications that arise from this exciting industry.

The nano-safety sub-theme enjoys the €13million of funding, as part of the cross European H2020 PATROLS project, this major project aims to provide clearer regulatory framework for nanoparticles.

Image of Cell

Our Nano-safety Areas Research Focus

Research conducted by Swansea University’s In Vitro Toxicology Group has been pivotal in developing standardised safety tests to facilitate nanomaterial human hazard identification, which is necessary to support risk assessment. Our research focuses on the development of in vitro techniques to determine the mechanisms associated with nanomaterial induced toxicity. We deduce the impact of industrially relevant nanoforms upon an array of different in vitro models of human tissues and relate these to their potential biological impact.

Research Outcomes

Within the nano-safety theme, academics, researchers and post-graduate students work to ensure our research broadens our scientific understanding of the toxicological risks of nanomaterials. Our research has been pivotal in developing safety tests to identify nanomaterial hazards and in the development of new techniques to achieve this.

Research talking to results


Prof Shareen Doak leads an international team of scientists including academics, industrial, government and risk assessment partners on the EU funded PATROLS project. PATROLS will provide an innovative and effective set of laboratory techniques and computational tools to more reliably predict potential human and environmental hazards resulting from engineered nanomaterial exposures. These tools will minimise the necessity of animal testing and will support future categorisation of ENMs in order to support safety frameworks.

Physiologically Anchored Tools for Realistic nanOmateriaL hazard aSsessment (PATROLS)

Research in ILS1 Lab

In vitro genotoxicity testing strategy for nanomaterials

For the first time this publication, specifically outlined which regulatory approved test systems were appropriate for nanomaterial DNA damage testing and where method adaptations were required. The recommendations and guidance have been widely adopted internationally. The paper underpins the changes to regulatory practice and consequently has been cited by regulatory bodies, and the World Health Organisation. The paper was a key output that led to the successful award of the Horizon 2020 PATROLS project.

Affiliated Researchers

Led by Prof. Shareen Doak, the Nanosafety Research Group predominantly focusses upon nanomaterial genotoxicity (Prof. Doak and Prof. Jenkins) and inhalation toxicology (Dr. Clift).

Professor Martin Clift

Professor, Biomedical Sciences
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Professor Shareen Doak

Personal Chair, Biomedical Sciences
+44 (0) 1792 295388
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Dr Stephen Evans

Research Officer, Biomedical Sciences
+44 (0) 1792 205678 ext 1501
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Professor Gareth Jenkins

Personal Chair, Biomedical Sciences
+44 (0) 1792 602512
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Current Funders and Funded Projects