Namur Nanosafety Centre (NNC)

The Namur Nanosafety Centre (NNC) is a multidisciplinary platform for the safety assessment of nanomaterials. It relies on a combination of three research activities at the UNamur: [1] materials characterization at the Physics of Matter and Radiation (PMR), [2] in vitro toxicology at the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology (URBC) and [3] in vivo toxicology at the Pharmacy Department. The NNC has the ambition to be recognized as the reference centre for the nanosafety assessment in Wallonia and in Belgium.


Physico-chemical characterization

  • Size and morphology: Electron microscopy, Differential centrifuge sedimentation, X-ray diffraction, Surface area
  • Chemical composition (bulk and surface): Energy dispersive X-ray (EDX), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)

Multielemental determination in complex matrices (solid and liquid)

  • Particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE)

In vivo animal testing

  • Oral administration; whole-body airborne nanoaerosol exposure
  • Clinical data: plasmatic, urine and feces analysis; biochemistry; hematology; histopathology
  • Tissue distribution; biopersistance

Ex vivo human and animal testing

  • Hemocompatibility: impact on red blood cells (hemolysis), platelet function and coagulation

In vitro testing

  • Cell culture platform for in vitro studies
  • Tissue engineering (skin, intestine and lung exposure models) and signalling studies
  • Adaptation of testing methods for nanomaterial and nanoparticle safety assessment

Toxicogenomics & Toxicoproteomics

  • Microfluidic Real Time RT-PCR
  • Gel and gel free proteomics

European projects


A pan-European Infrastructure Project (27 partners) for processing, analysis and characterisation (physico-chemical properties, health and environmental impact) of engineered nanomaterials, nanoparticles and nanostructures. QualityNano will also pro-actively seek to drive, develop and promote the highest quality research and practices via Joint Research Activities, Networking Activities and provision of Transnational Access functions.


Large scale integrated project (29 partners): development of reference methods for hazard indentification, risk assessment and life cycle assessment of engineered nanomaterials


Large scale integrated project: A common European approach to the regulatory testing of Manufactured Nanomaterials.

Establish close cooperation between regulators, industries and scientists.

The innovative and economic potential of Manufacture Nanomaterials (MNMs) is threatened by limited understanding safety along the value chains : today 's knowledge is not comprehensive enough for regulatory purposes. The approach of NANoREG will provide answers to Society, Industry and the National Regulation and Legislation Authorities.


SIINN-ERA-NET- European Coordinator: Dr Julie LALOY (UNamur)

Integration of nanomaterials in paints

Partners: TU Graz, Fraunhofer IPA


SIINN-ERA-NET- European Coordinator: Dr. Andrea Haase (BfR)

Establishing nanomaterial grouping/ classification strategies according to toxicity and biological effects for supporting risk assessment (April 2015- March 2018)

Partners: BfR, UFZ, RKI, BASF, IUTA, UKE, TAU, UNamur, Straticell, ISPUP, UB


DOGNE Jean-Michel | Laboratory investigations in hemostasis

CHAINIAUX Florence | Stress and ageing

HEUSKIN Anne-Catherine | Radiobiology and radiation therapy research

LUCAS Stéphane | Radiobiology and radiation therapy research