Systems Biology to Support Nanomaterial Grouping

  • Christian Riebeling
  • Harald Jungnickel
  • Andreas Luch
  • Andrea HaaseEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 947)


The assessment of potential health risks of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) is a challenging task due to the high number and great variety of already existing and newly emerging ENMs. Reliable grouping or categorization of ENMs with respect to hazards could help to facilitate prioritization and decision making for regulatory purposes. The development of grouping criteria, however, requires a broad and comprehensive data basis. A promising platform addressing this challenge is the systems biology approach. The different areas of systems biology, most prominently transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics, each of which provide a wealth of data that can be used to reveal novel biomarkers and biological pathways involved in the mode-of-action of ENMs. Combining such data with classical toxicological data would enable a more comprehensive understanding and hence might lead to more powerful and reliable prediction models. Physico-chemical data provide crucial information on the ENMs and need to be integrated, too. Overall statistical analysis should reveal robust grouping and categorization criteria and may ultimately help to identify meaningful biomarkers and biological pathways that sufficiently characterize the corresponding ENM subgroups. This chapter aims to give an overview on the different systems biology technologies and their current applications in the field of nanotoxicology, as well as to identify the existing challenges.


Grouping Nanomaterials Transcriptomics Proteomics Metabolomics Systems biology 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Riebeling
    • 1
  • Harald Jungnickel
    • 1
  • Andreas Luch
    • 1
  • Andrea Haase
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Department of Chemical and Product SafetyBerlinGermany

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