RAPID investigates the quality and safety of chemical substances, food ingredients/products, drugs and nanoparticles. Traditionally, research at RAPID has taken place within (inter)national legislative frameworks but increasingly we are focusing on earlier process phases, such as the development of new ingredients and products (nanomaterials, new protein sources in food and drugs).
In order to reduce costs and time, modelling approaches increasingly lie at the basis for examining the health risks posed by substances to humans. RAPID combines thorough knowledge of the field of risk analysis and statistics with practical experience of innovative experimental research (toxicology, chemical analysis, human exposure), developing integrated strategies enabling maximum prediction of the health risks for humans and minimising the need for animal testing.
The focus of RAPID is to sufficiently demonstrate the feasibility of innovations (proof of principle) and to realise an initial application in which the working principle is used (proof of market). Further upscaling of a substantial part of these innovations in the private market is shaped with external partners. RAPID has a considerable international orientation and focuses on industrial problems within three sectors: chemistry, pharmaceuticals and food. We also provide research support to the authorities.
In industrial problems the Food Safety expert system helps to accelerate solutions for risk assessment, toxicology, exposure, analysis and legislation. The system is also used in professional training.
TNO concludes in studies among many industry associations that many people may be exposed to nanoparticles at the work floor. These results serve as a basis for new large-scale research into exposure to nanoparticles among Dutch employees.
TNO has shown that the concentration of allergens in food through cross-contamination may cause public health risks. A model developed by TNO quantifies the number of consumers that have an allergic response to a certain concentration of an allergen in food.
In the context of safe design of nanomaterials, TNO is designing indium phosphide based quantum dots that have a shell. This shell ensures that the functionality of the quantum dot is retained or improved such that the intrinsic toxicity of indium phosphide is shielded.
TNO has set-up a data and tooling infrastructure that allows quick analysis of toxicity prediction based on structural and/ or –omics data. Our visualization tool allows a rapid overview and interpretation of toxicity prediction on the basis of all available data, thereby contributing to the reduction of animal testing.