Research Project Summary

Year Funded: 2022 Budget: Funding Agency: IRSST
Title: Promoting the Use of Human Neutrophils to Improve Current Experimental Procedures Intended to Ensure Safer Nanoparticle Use in the Workplace
Category: Occupational Disease, Injury and Health Services
Subcategory: Occupational Injury
Keywords: nanoparticules, neutrophiles
Link to research website:


It is well documented that exposure to nanoparticles (NPs) can lead to undesirable health effects, including cytotoxicity, oxidative stress, cancer and inflammation. In fact, inflammation is the most commonly reported effect in studies of NP exposure. Inhalation, one of the pathways of exposure to nanoparticles, can trigger inflammatory lung diseases or aggravate existing ones, in which granulocytes, mainly neutrophils and eosinophils, play an important role. Granulocytes are the most abundant type of white cells in mammals and an essential component of the immune system.
Studies show that NPs can also pass into the circulatory system, where neutrophils, the most common leukocytes in blood, can interact with them directly.
Workers may be exposed to NPs in various ways, depending on the type of job or the tasks they perform, particularly during the production of NPs or products containing them, handling and storage; there are also risks of accidental exposure from an NP spill following a faulty manoeuvre. NPs are used increasingly frequently as vectors for medication or in other medical applications, which also increases health care workers’ risk of exposure to NPs.


This project should contribute to advancing knowledge of the interaction between NPs and human neutrophils, a relatively new and unstudied research niche

Anticipated Results:

The members of the research team are pioneers in this field and propose to use neutrophils in experimental protocols to determine the toxicity of NPs, which could ultimately contribute to safer NP use in the workplace.


Denis GIRARD, Centre Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie de l’INRS