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Unit of Molecular Toxicology

Our research aims to identify and characterize molecular and biochemical processes that are induced by exposure to toxic substances including engineered nanomaterials. We are also engaged in studies of the process of inflammation and in cancer research.

Inflammation research focuses on mechanisms of clearance of apoptotic cells (programmed cell clearance) and implications for the resolution of inflammation. We are also strongly engaged in research on congenital and acquired neutropenia and its underlying molecular mechanisms.

The nanotoxicological research focuses on the elucidation of mechanisms underlying toxicity of novel nanomaterials including carbon nanotubes and graphene as well as nanomaterials with potential biomedical applications, with a particular focus on hazardous effects on the immune system as well as on genotoxicity of nanomaterials and on potential endocrine disrupting effects.

Our research has a strong international dimension, with numerous international collaborations and participation in international research consortia funded by the European Commission through the Seventh Framework Program as well as the EU Flagship Project, GRAPHENE.

Research group leader

Unit members

Mathilde Delaval

Postdoctoral researcher

Sandeep Keshavan

Postdoctoral researcher

Govind Gupta

Postdoctoral researcher

Guotao Peng

Postdoctoral researcher

Foreign Adjunct Professors

  • Professor Ding Xue, University of Colorado

  • Professor Valerian Kagan, University of Pittsburgh



  • Seventh Framework of the European Commission
  • Swedish Research Council
  • Swedish Cancer Foundation
  • Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (MISTRA)
  • Stockholm County Council (ALF project)
  • Swedish Cancer and Allergy Foundation

EU Projects



NanoSafety Cluster




Flagship Project GRAPHENE



Future Emerging Technologies (FET)

Recent Flagship Publications

It takes two to tango: Understanding the interactions between engineered nanomaterials and the immune system
Consol Farrera, Bengt Fadeel
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, September 2015, Pages 3-12

Graphene and the immune System: A Romance of Many Dimensions
Sourav P. Mukherjee, Massimo Bottini and Bengt Fadeel
Front. Immunol. 8:673. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00673

Hollow carbon spheres trigger inflammasome-dependent IL-1beta secretion in macrophages
Fernando T. Andon, Sourav P. Mukherjee, Isabel Gessner, Laura Wortmann, Lisong Xiao, Kjell Hultenby, Anna A. Shvedova, Sanjay Mathur, Bengt Fadeel
Carbon, Volume 113, March 2017, Pages 243-251

Nanoparticles and innate immunity: new perspectives on host defence
Diana Boraschi, Paola Italiani, Roberto Palomba, Paolo Decuzzi, Albert Duschl, Bengt Fadeel, S. Moein Moghimi
Seminars in Immunology 34 (2017) 33–51

Graphene Oxide Elicits Membrane Lipid Changes and Neutrophil Extracellular Trap Formation
Sourav P. Mukherjee, Beatrice Lazzaretto, Kjell Hultenby, Leon Newman, Artur F. Rodrigues, Neus Lozano, Kostas Kostarelos, Per Malmberg, and Bengt Fadeel
Chem 4, 334–358, February 8, 2018

Graphene oxide is degraded by neutrophils and the degradation products are non-genotoxic
Sourav P. Mukherjee, Anda R. Gliga, Beatrice Lazzaretto, Birgit Brandner, Matthew Fielden, Carmen Vogt, Leon Newman, Artur F. Rodrigues, Wenting Shao, Philip M. Fournier, Muhammet S. Toprak, Alexander Star, Kostas Kostarelos, Kunal Bhattacharya and Bengt Fadeel
Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 1180

Cytokine Profiling of Primary Human Macrophages Exposed to Endotoxin-Free Graphene Oxide: Size-Independent NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation
Sourav P. Mukherjee, Kostas Kostarelos and Bengt Fadeel
Adv. Healthcare Mater. 2018, 7, 1700815


2nd Nanosafety Forum For Young Scientists

3rd mini conference on nanotoxicology, November 9-10, 2015


Handling of Nanomaterials