11:30 – 12:00 – MSc Evelien Frijns & Dr. Sandra Verstraelen, VITO

Air-liquid interface (ALI) exposure as an alternative method to mimic human inhalation of airborne substances

Epidemiological and animal studies are both widely used approaches to investigate potential adverse effects and conduct risk assessments on inhaled xenobiotics and particulate matter. However, results are not always easy to interpret or reproduce and such experiments are extremely expensive, time consuming and use large numbers of animals. For these reasons, there is an increasing demand for the development of alternative approaches that make use of reliable in-vitro testing strategies. These testing methods will require realistic lung cel models, realistic inhalation exposure systems and proper dosimetry techniques to increase the predictive ability of in-vitro cel models and therefore accelerate the shift from in-vivo towards in-vitro testing.
In this presentation, we will show how ALI exposure works, give an overview of commercial systems, including the ALI module co-invented by VITO and will present cases using the ALI platform.

About Sandra Verstraelen and Evelien Frijns

Dr. Sandra Verstraelen studied biomedical sciences at the University of Antwerp and obtained her PhD in 2010 from the University of Ghent. She is project manager/researcher/study director at VITO. She is dedicated to strategic and contract research projects related to biological interactions of nanomaterials, safety testing of chemicals/nanomaterials, and development and validation of alternative methods, using in vitro human cell models and molecular technologies.

MSc Evelien Frijns received her Master degree in Physical Geography in 2002 from the University of Amsterdam. From 2002 till 2007 she worked as environmental consultant specialized in soil contamination and remediation. Since 2007 she is an aerosol research scientist at VITO and developed expertise in the field of nano‐aerosol occupational exposure assessment. The current research activities address questions in the areas of exposure assessment strategies for airborne nanoparticles.