|Role||Start date||End date||Funding source|
|Lead||01/Jan/2015||31/Dec/2018||NERC (Natural Environment Research Council)|
This project focuses on detection and characterisation of inflammatory agents in bioaerosol emitted from biowaste and intensive agriculture. It is known that cellular components (e.g. endotoxin and glucan) are emitted by composting and farming. Endotoxin binds to receptors associated with many cell types generating pro-inflammatory cytokines, resulting in inflammatory response in exposed people. Endotoxin has advantages as a bioaerosol metric – it is: • detectable through robust methods • a broad-spectrum indicator of bacterially-derived (Gram negative) bioaerosol • the only bioaerosol component for which an exposure limit to protect the general population is currently realistic. Whilst promising, only a small database exists of endotoxin concentrations around composting / farming facilities and little is known about exposure of the general population (as opposed to occupational exposure). Little knowledge exists on the size fractions that airborne endotoxin is associated with, the relative importance of whole cells (live/dead), vesicles and disrupted fragments, or its dispersion properties. Although robust detection methods exist, there are presently no rapid or continuous detection methods available.
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