Blank Lab

Research focus

Our research team focuses on interactions between lung cells and inhaled environmental or biomedical particles, with particular focus on pulmonary epithelial cells, macrophages and dendritic cells and downstream immune responses, such as T cell activation. These interactions we study in the light of respiratory diseases, such as allergic asthma, COPD and pulmonary fibrosis. To promote the 3Rs in the field of representative inhalation models, our effort is aimed at the establishment, characterization and validation of relevant and more reliable non-animal in vitro inhalation models. While we are employing routine approaches for studying particle-cell interactions such as flow cytometry, real-time PCR-testing and protein analysis, there is a constant and growing need for novel approaches in live cell imaging (transmitted light microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy) to detect and track nanoparticles in situ inside the tissue or even inside single cells in order to determine the fate of promising nanocarriers or to clarify possible pathways of immunomodulation or nanotoxicology.