Hanna Karlsson

Hanna Karlsson

Principal Researcher | Docent
Telephone: +46852487576
Visiting address: Nobels väg 13, 17177 Stockholm
Postal address: C6 Institutet för miljömedicin, C6 Biokemisk toxikologi Karlsson, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • I am an Associate Professor in Toxicology and research group leader at IMM.
    The research in my group is mainly about understanding the the toxicity of
    nanoparticles and underlying mechanisms. Another focus is the development of
    new cell-based assays to enable replacement of animal experiments (3R). I
    teach in the Master's Programme in Toxicology and have for many years worked
    with issues related to the environment and sustainable development at KI.


  • Projects

    Toxic effects of nanoparticles from different types of transport
    In the EU project "nPETs", we study nanoparticles that are formed by different modes of transport (road traffic, subway, shipping, etc.). The project includes comparing toxic effects of nanoparticles from different sources using different cell methods such as exposure of cells in the "air-liquid interface" and to develop “toxicity scores”. We also model the retention of nanoparticles in the lung.

    Toxic effects of welding particles and particles from 3D printing
    In projects performed in collaboration with KTH and several industrial partners, we study the toxic effects of welding particles and of powders used in so-called "3D printing". New welding wires have been developed by industry partners, and we have shown that particles formed during welding with these release significantly less hexavalent chromium and they are less toxic compared to those generated from welding with the traditional wires (see e.g McCarrick et al., 2021). In studies on powders used in 3D printing, or particles formed in the process, we have so far seen limited toxicity (see e.g. Vallabani et al., 2022).

    Effects of nano- and microplastics
    In society today, there is a lot of focus on so-called nano- and microplastics – small plastic fragments that are found in air, water and in the food we eat. In an ongoing project, we are studying whether nano- and microplastics can cause harmful effects on cultured cells. The first results show low toxicity in short-term studies.

    Skin sensitizing properties of chemicals and mixtures
    Anyone who has skin contact with allergenic substances can develop contact allergy (sensitisation) and those who have become allergic develop eczema after subsequent contact with the substance. Chemicals from medical devices and textiles are studied in on-going projects. We are working with KeratinoSens assays as well as with a co-culture of skin cells and immune (Karri et al., 2021).


All other publications



  • Principal Researcher, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, 2022-

Degrees and Education

  • Docent, Karolinska Institutet, 2016
  • Doctor Of Philosophy, Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, 2006

Leadership and responsibility assignments

  • Vice Chair and Chair, KI Council for Environment and sustainable development, Karolinska Institutet, 2014-2022


  • Anda Gliga, Nanotoxicology on the right track: focus on metal and metal oxide nanoparticles, https://openarchive.ki.se/xmlui/handle/10616/45309
  • Emma Åkerlund, Cellular effects of nickel and nickel oxide nanoparticles : focus on mechanisms related to carcinogenicity, https://openarchive.ki.se/xmlui/handle/10616/46499
  • Sarah McCarrick, Exploring toxicity and fate of metal-based particles in the lung : from mechanistic screening to lung deposition modelling, https://openarchive.ki.se/xmlui/handle/10616/48027

News from KI

Events from KI