Maggie Elizabeth Jewett



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Due to their unique physicochemical properties nanomaterial (NM)-based technologies are growing exponentially in scope and economic importance. This surge is resulting in significant degrees of NM waste and increased rates of human exposure. This has created a vital need to fully understand the potential biological consequences of NM exposure, characterize resulting NM-biological interfaces, and determine subsequent toxicological effects. The long-term goal of this project is to design, optimize, and implement an enhanced microenvironment model (EMM) to bridge this in vitro – in vivo gap and evaluate NM characteristics, pharmacokinetic/deposition profiles, and induced biological responses under physiologically relevant conditions. To date efforts have focused on the generation of the EMM which uses a perfusion plate platform containing cellular compartments interconnected by dynamic fluid movement produced via a peristaltic pump. While the EMM system can be tailored to any target organ/tissue, this proposal is focused on the flow of NMs from lungs (A549; human alveolar epithelial) to liver (HepG2; human epithelial) to skin (HaCaT; human keratinocyte), as inhalation is a primary form of exposure and NMs have been shown to accumulate in the skin. Additionally, the human monocyte (U937) cell line will circulate through all compartments allowing for immune analysis. Once complete and optimized this EMM system will be one of the first non-microfluidic models to simultaneously incorporate physiological influences and multiple cellular compartments to improve relevance and promote in vivo-like behavior.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Kristen Krupa Comfort

Primary Advisor's Department

Chemical Engineering


Stander Symposium project

Design of an Enhanced Cellular Model for the Assessment and Tracking of Nanomaterials