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nanoPASS Hosts Webinar on Advanced Methodologies for Regulatory Testing of Nanomaterials

15 May 2024

 In a significant move to advance the safety and regulatory testing of chemicals and materials, the nanoPASS project hosted an impactful webinar titled "AOPs: A Tool to Include NAMs into Regulatory Testing" on April 11, 2024. This session highlighted the shift away from traditional animal testing towards adopting New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) within regulatory frameworks.

The webinar provided a deep dive into Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs), a promising tool that links molecular-level effects of chemicals directly to adverse health outcomes, facilitating the inclusion of NAMs in regulatory assessments. Experts from various fields shared insights on how AOPs are developed and established, particularly through the processes endorsed by international bodies like the OECD.

Key Highlights from the Webinar:

  • Overview of AOPs and Their Development: Presenters introduced the concept of AOPs, detailing their structure and the methodology behind their creation and validation.
  • Case Studies on Nanomaterial-Relevant AOPs: The sessions focused on two critical AOPs:The AOP for Pulmonary Fibrosis: Notably, this is the first nanomaterial-relevant AOP to be endorsed, marking a milestone in the field.
  • An AOP for Acute Lung Toxicity: This included a presentation by Jorid Birkelund Sørli from NRCWE, who discussed the integration of a specific NAM aimed at reducing animal testing in assessing acute lung toxicity.
  • Applicability of AOPs in Hazard Assessment: The potential for AOPs to transform hazard assessments in regulatory contexts was a major focus, with discussions on practical applications and the challenges faced in implementation.

Contributions from nanoPASS Partners:

  • Jorid Birkelund Sørli from NRCWE: Delivered a detailed presentation on an AOP for acute lung toxicity, which included a discussion on integrating a New Approach Methodology into this framework.
  • Blanca Suarez Merino from NIA: Skillfully moderated the Q&A session, ensuring a thorough discussion on the complexities and potential of AOPs in regulatory settings.
  • Sean Kelly, also from NIA: Delivered insightful closing remarks that encapsulated the achievements of the webinar and the path forward for incorporating these methodologies into mainstream regulatory practices.

Dr. Helena Smithe, the lead scientist at nanoPASS, highlighted the urgency and importance of adopting these advanced methodologies. "The integration of NAMs through AOPs not only aligns with ethical standards by reducing animal testing but also enhances the precision and relevance of safety evaluations," stated Dr. Smithe.

The webinar concluded with a panel discussion featuring experts and regulators who discussed the hurdles in the wider adoption of AOPs and expressed optimism about overcoming these challenges through continued collaboration and innovation.

For those who missed the live session or wish to review the discussions, the full recording is available here.

You can also find the slides for the individual presentations  below:

The nanoPASS project remains at the forefront of advocating for safer and more efficient regulatory processes in nanotechnology. For more details on upcoming events and the project’s progress, subscribe to the project newsletter.