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Tobias Lammel


Institutionen för biologi och
Medicinaregatan 18
41390 Göteborg
Box 463
40530 Göteborg

Om Tobias Lammel


Much of my current research is on the interaction, uptake, fate and mechanisms of toxicity of manufactured nanomaterials in human and piscine cells using traditional and advanced cell-based in vitro models (e.g., transwell cultures, co-cultures, 3D spheroid cultures). Furthermore, I investigate their uptake, accumulation and effects in whole organisms, their fate within the aquatic food web, and their interaction and potential combination effects with organic chemical compounds that may be present as co-contaminants in the environment (e.g., PCBs, PAHs, organic UV filters).

Besides, I have a strong interest in the development of new fish cell-based in vitro methods that can be used as an alternative to animal testing to study the toxicity, biotransformation and clearance of contaminants of emerging concern (e.g., PPCPs, EDCs, flame retardants, pesticides), or for the rapid and sensitive detection of specific contaminant-dependent biological activity in environmental and biological samples.



MENACE (Mixture toxicity of Engineered NAnomaterials and Chemicals in the Environment)

The objective of this project is to assess if engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) that are emerging as novel contaminants in aquatic ecosystems influence the uptake and toxicity of co-existing “traditional” environmental pollutants in fish. Specifically, it aims at identifying and linking combination effects of titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at the molecular, cellular, tissue and organism level in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

Project leader: Tobias Lammel

Funded by: The Swedish Research Council FORMAS (Research project grant, 2017-2020); Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG (Research fellowship, 2015-2017)

Sph3roiD (Development of three-dimensional (3D) spheroidal aggregate cultures from the continuous rainbow trout liver cell line RTL-W)

The overall objective of this project is to develop and establish a novel in vitro test system based on organotypic three-dimensional (3D) spheroidal aggregate cultures (spheroids) from a fish liver cell line, which can provide physiologically relevant, quantitative information on chemical bioaccumulation and chronic toxicity in fish.

Project leader: Tobias Lammel

Funded by: Swedish Fund for Research Without Animal Experiments (research project grant, 2019-2020) Trophic transfer of nanoparticles in a microcosm system  

Nanoparticles (NPs) are today of major concern when it comes to environmental health. NPs, including those that are manufactured but also nanosized breakdown products from plastics are present in the aquatic environment. There is a lack of sound scientific evidence on the environmental hazards of NPs and there is a major concern that NPs in the aquatic environment will agglomerate and be deposited and incorporated into sediments. Consequently, benthic organisms in the sediments may be exposed to high levels of anthropogenic NPs. In addition, benthic organisms constitute an important food source (e.g., for fish) and therefore may serve as an important link from the abiotic compartment (i.e., the sediment) to the biotic compartment, the food web. This can result in magnification of NPs in top predators. The aim of the proposed project is to investigate if metal and plastic NPs can be reintroduced into the food web through trophic transfer, from the sediment through the prey worm tubifex, to the primary and secondary predator fish species, stickleback and perch. Uptake and internal tissue distribution of copper oxide and polystyrene NPs (fluorescent) will be studied. In addition, we will investigate biological effects of the NPs in both worms and fish. These results will be important in risk assessment of NPs in complex systems.

Project leader: Prof. Joachim Sturve

Funded by: The Swedish Research Council FORMAS (research project grant, 2019-2022)

My role in the project: I am a co-applicant and involved as researcher with five percent of full time during the three-year funding period. I contribute with my experience in the characterisation of NP properties and fate in aquatic systems and the study of NP uptake, acucmulation, effects and trophic transfer in fish (see NanoTransfer project).


NanoTransfer (Implementation of novel tools to assess metal nanoparticle uptake and trophic transfer)

While uptake and effects of engineered metal nanoparticles (metal ENPs) in short-term water-only laboratory tests have been widely examined in controlled freshwater systems, only a few studies have focused on dietary/sediment exposure or long-term effects. Even less emphasis have been directed to understanding mechanisms controlling uptake and internal fate and only a very few studies exist on trophic transfer of metal ENPs. Advancement has been restrained due to limitations regarding available characterization methods (both in biological and environmental samples). The project will combine and use a toolbox of novel and advanced techniques in microscopy, and ENP labelling (stable isotopes and fluorescence) in combination with Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) and single-particle ICP-MS (SP-ICP-MS) to address these knowledge gaps. We intend to take advantage of these new tools to examine trophic transfer of metal ENPs and address how exposure time affects uptake, internal fate and toxicity of metal ENP in prey (sediment-dwelling worm) and predator (fish).

Porject leader: Prof. Henriette Selck, Roskilde University (DK)

Funded by: Villum Foundation

My role in the project: I was involved in the project as postdoctoral researcher from spring 2017 till spring 2019 examening uptake, bioaccumulation and effects of CuO nanoparticles in fish (three-spined stickleback), as well the their trophic transfer within aquatic food chains (from sediment to worms to fish).


Mistra Environmental Nanosafety Phase II: WP3 – Effects of transformed (weathered) NPs on aquatic organisms, food chains and cell models

The objective of WP3 of Mistra Environmental Nanosafety Phase II is:

i) to adapt current test protocols, and develop new test protocols, that consider the conditions used for weathered NPs, particles with characteristics more similar to what could be expected to find in the natural environment.

ii) to evaluate how weathering of NPs affect their toxicity both with respect to acute toxic effects and also to sub-lethal effects at lower exposure concentrations more similar to what could be expected in the natural environment.

iii) to evaluate the effects of weathered particles using 2D versus 3D cell culture model systems and correlate the result from cell tests with those from model systems using live test organisms.

My role in the project: I am involved as an associated investigator. I contribute through my expertise in the characterization and toxicity testing of engineered nanomaterials in fish cell culture-based in vitro systems (see MENACE project) and know-how regarding the development of and use of 3D cell culture models (see Sph3roiD project). I also act as co-supervisor of the PhD student employed within the Mistra project at the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Gothenburg.


Mixture toxicity effects of inorganic (nano-TiO2) and organic UV filters

This project is a spin-off of my project on mixture toxicity effects between engineered nanomaterials and chemical compounds in the environment (see MENACE) and was intiated as a collaboration with Danielle Slomberg (Centre Européen de Recherche et d'Enseignement des Géosciences de l'Environnement, CEREGE). The objective of this project is to test the interaction and mixture toxicity effects beween different types of TiO2 NPs used in sunscreen formulations and organic UV filters that may co-exist in aquatic ecosystems. The NPs were originally synthesized in the ECO-SUN project and kindly provided by the research group of Jérôme Labille (Centre Européen de Recherche et d'Enseignement des Géosciences de l'Environnement, CEREGE).




Master’s programme in Biochemical Toxicology; Course: Biochemical Toxicology A (KBB101), Chalmers University. Lectures, seminar, exercise, lab; (Lecture topics: "Cellular techniques in biochemical toxicology", "Toxicity of engineered nanomaterials", Cancerogenesis".

Bachelor’s programme in Cell and Molecular Biology; Course: Cell and developmental biology (BIO213), University of Gothenburg. Lectures (topics: "Intracellular signaling", "Proliferation control", "Apoptotic cell death", "Cell culture and In vitro toxicology").

Master’s programme in Ecotoxicology; Course: Ecological Toxicology: Physiology (BIO435); University of Gothenburg. Lab (toxicity assessment using fish cell-based assays in vitro assays)