Modelling Nanomaterial Toxicity

Welcome to the MODENA COST Initiative site

This MODENA COST action was supported by COST, an intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology, which allows the coordination of nationally-funded research on a European level. The following agencies coordinate the COST initiative. The MODENA COST action completed its work in 2016, and the website is no longer updated.

COST is the European framework
for the transnational coordination of
nationally funded research. 
COST is supported by the
EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020


The MODENA COST Initiative:

Nanotechnology produces engineered nanomaterials (ENM) having new or enhanced physico-chemical properties in comparison to their micron-sized counterparts. Some of these properties, like the high surface area to volume ratio, make them potentially dangerous to humans as shown by research in NANOTOXICOLOGY. 

To promote the development of a new generation of ENM that are SAFE-by-DESIGN, an understanding of the relationship between the ENM STRUCTURE and biological ACTIVITY is needed. In this context the Quantitative Nanostructure-Toxicity Relationships (QNTR) computational modelling technique is an effective alternative to experimental testing since it enables the prediction of (eco)-toxicological effects based on ENM structure only.

The construction of QNTR models requires the integration of expertise of nanomaterial scientists, (eco)-toxicologists, and modellers from academia, regulatory agencies and industry. Therefore, a network for trans-disciplinary cooperation is needed. Thus the MODENACOST Action has been established to promote and to co-ordinate these inter-disciplinary collaborations, with the ultimate aim of producing QNTR models for ENM.

The important benefits from MODENA include: 

(i) the development of a new generation of SAFE-by-DESIGN ENM; 

(ii) the effective reduction of animal testing and 

(iii) The creation of transparent, validated and rigorous QNTR tools for regulatory purposes in the field of nanotoxicology according to OECD principles.

MODENA Action Evaluation

The MODENA Action reached successful completion at the end of 2016. The Public Summary Assessment of Outcomes and Impacts provided by the Action's reviewer is below: 

The MODENA COST action set up timely frame for bringing experts from different nanotechnology/nanosafety areas and link different EC projects focused on safe by design approach in developing of new generation of nanomaterials (ENMs). The action ambitious aim was to understand the relationship between physico-chemical properties and the effect and use it to establish quantitative nanostructure toxicity relationship utilising computational modelling techniques. This requires interdisciplinary consortium with high expertise in their disciplines and strong coordination. 

The MODENA action managed to bring together critical mass of experts from 30 countries working in different disciplines - from material scientists, toxicologist and computational modellers. The MODENA partners being involved in an impressive number of nanosafety oriented projects, had an excellent conditions to use available data that are crucial for establishing (QNTR) modelling. They designed templates and collected data to further the area of QNTR. 

The consortium used all available COST tools to achieve their goals. Their achievements have been recognised via scientific meeting, workshops, conferences, Training Schools, Short Term Scientific Missions, via scientific papers. Achievements of the action have high impact on the scientific community and also on whole society, to safe development of nanotechnology contributing to regulation of ENMs. The immediate impact is large as action activities are well known in nanosafety community but I expect even higher long term impact as many young scientists have been educated, many proposals were submitted and lot of new ideas are still maturating and will lead to further research in nanosafety. Also modelling tools and datasets have not been exhaustively unitised but knowledge gained and approach set up by the consortium will have impact on the field. 

From the resources available and achievements of the COST Modena partners I consider this Action as extremely successful and productive with enormous amount of achievements via training/educational activities, scientific meeting, conferences and workshop, publication activities (more than 20 scientific papers and one book), data  sharing, idea developing and setting up consortia for new proposals and all communication and dissemination activities. 

The MODENA Action Chairs and Grant Management would like to thank the MODENA MC, and all WG members, STSM Recipients, Invited Speakers and International Experts for their input toward helping MODENA reach such a successful outcome! 



  • Chair of the Action:
    Prof Lang TRAN (UK)
  • Vice Chair of the Action:
    Prof Miguel BANARES (ES)
  • DC Rapporteurs:
    Prof. Pavle ANDJUS (RS)
  • DC Rapporteurs:
    Prof Lukas ROHR (CH) 
  • DC Rapporteurs:
    Prof. Venceslav KAUCIC (SI) 
  • Science officer of the Action:
    Dr Caroline WHELAN 
  • Administrative officer of the Action:
    Milena STOYANOVA
  • Grant Holder of the Action: 
    Bryony ROSS (UK)
  • Grant Holder of the Action: 
    Susan YOUNG (UK)