Chronic inflammatory diseases

Thema:
Metabolic and immune health

TNO supports authorities and companies in prevention, therapy and management of allergic and inflammatory diseases. Our research focusses on identification and characterization of extrinsic factors, with a focus on food-borne factors, that influence the inflammatory state of our body and we develop advanced statistical models/algorithms to analyze and predict outcomes of exposures and support the development of safe interventions and measures.

Inflammatory diseases

Between 15 and 20% of the people in the western world suffer from inflammatory diseases. Inflammatory processes also play a central role in many other disorders, such as in cardiovascular & neurological diseases, diabetes, pathology in obesity, and side effects of cancer immunotherapy.

The functioning of the immune system is driven by inflammatory balances. These balances depend on a complex interplay between intrinsic (host) and extrinsic (chemical and microbial) factors. The total of all extrinsic factors (our exposome) is assumed to explain 70 to 80% of disease. Our food is a major source of exposure to extrinsic factors, but we still have limited knowledge on which and how food-borne factors affect our immune system.

Controlling the Immune Exposome

Our Controlling the Immune Exposome program

Prevention, management and therapy of inflammatory diseases by definition is through control and modulation of extrinsic factors; by Controlling the Immune Exposome. Understanding the key extrinsic factors involved and the mechanisms and interactions through which these interact with our immune system is crucial for the development of safe and effective interventions and management practices for allergic and inflammatory diseases.

Our Controlling the Immune Exposome program focusses on the development and application of methods to:

  • Identify and characterize extrinsic factors, with a focus on food-borne factors, that influence the inflammatory state of our body, aiming at the discovery of new leads for (adjunctive) interventions in immune health
  • Assess immune health benefits and risks of extrinsic factors, such as those of food ingredients and pharmaceuticals
  • Identify (new) application areas for existing food and/or pharma products
  • Optimize future study designs (biomarker discovery, assay identification, dosing optimization)
  • Assess and manage the allergenic risks of residues of proteins or novel or modified food proteins

We connect our knowledge on allergic and inflammatory diseases with our tools and capability for advanced data analysis. We combine multiple information sources (literature, databases, clinical trial data, etc.), use advanced data analyses approaches, and develop advanced statistical models/algorithms to analyze and predict outcomes of exposures. This approach enables us to support authorities and companies in the development and improvement of population and personalized prevention, management and therapy of allergic and inflammatory diseases.

Our main current research areas are:

Collaboration with the University Medical Center Utrecht

Led by Prof. Dr. Geert Houben, TNO and UMC Utrecht joined forces and closely collaborate in their research on food-borne factors in allergic and inflammatory diseases through a Research Chair at the Medical Faculty of the Utrecht University.

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Lifestyle related diseases

Informatietype:
Article

Behavioural change is the key to curing lifestyle diseases. In short: lifestyle as medicine. Find out more about our innovations and tools.

Metabolic and immune health

Informatietype:
Article

We develop methods that enable the effects of nutrition on personal health to be measurable.

Translational models TNO excel in preclinical research

Informatietype:
Insight
13 June 2022
TNO’s animal models for NAFLD/NASH are the most translational to human tissue data in a recent Hepatology article about NAFLD/NASH and cardiovascular disease.

Improving the health of mothers and newborns in Ghana

Informatietype:
News
1 December 2021
Currently, a consortium of 10 international partners, is studying how to implement ‘Group Care’ into 7 countries. In Group Care 8-12 women and their partners meet up during pregnancy and the first 2 years after birth for medical and psycho-social care, interactive learning and community building. We just went to Ghana, to train midwives and adapt the approach to the local context.

In vitro microbiome and ex vivo intestinal models for gut health

Informatietype:
Webinar
9 November 2021
1 aflevering

Watch the webinar where we introduce our latest developments in in vitro models for the study of gut microbiota dynamics and host intestinal tissue response.