Case Study III: The Construction of a Nanotoxicity Database – The MOD-ENP-TOX Experience
The amount of experimental studies on the toxicity of nanomaterials is growing fast. Interpretation and comparison of these studies is a complex issue due to the high amount of variables possibly determining the toxicity of nanomaterials.
Qualitative databases providing a structured combination, integration and quality evaluation of the existing data could reveal insights that cannot be seen from different studies alone. A few database initiatives are under development but in practice very little data is publicly available and collaboration between physicists, toxicologists, computer scientists and modellers is needed to further develop databases, standards and analysis tools.
In this case study the process of building a database on the in vitro toxicity of amorphous silica nanoparticles (NPs) is described in detail. Experimental data were systematically collected from peer reviewed papers, manually curated and stored in a standardised format. The result is a database in ISA-Tab-Nano including 68 peer reviewed papers on the toxicity of 148 amorphous silica NPs. Both the physicochemical characterization of the particles and their biological effect (described in 230 in vitro assays) were stored in the database. A scoring system was elaborated in order to evaluate the reliability of the stored data.
KeywordsAmorphous silica nanoparticles ISA-Tab-Nano Data reliability In vitro Nano-informatics
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