Protea Biosciences Group, Inc. has announced that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has established a scientific collaboration with Protea’s Imaging and Bioanalytical Laboratory to study the occupational hazards of the inhalation of aerosols released during welding and electronic manufacturing processes. NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths.
“During welding, workers are exposed to fumes that may contain potentially harmful chemicals like manganese, chromium, and nickel,” stated James Antonini, PhD., Toxicologist in the Health Effects Laboratory Division of NIOSH in Morgantown, WV. He continued, “Previous research suggests that these workers who are exposed to these fumes may be at a higher risk for lung disease, neurological disorders, and infection, and we are working with Protea’s Imaging and Bioanalytical Laboratory to understand the molecular interaction and physiological impact of these inhalants using mass spectrometry imaging.”
“Our core focus is to provide expertise and state-of-the-art mass spectrometry imaging tools to researchers interested in visualizing chemicals and biomolecules within tissue samples,” stated Greg Kilby, Ph.D., Protea’s Vice President of Operations. He continued, “Developing and applying mass spectrometry imaging workflows for these inhalation studies enables us to deliver molecular images and analytical results, which ultimately have an impact on workplace safety for millions of workers within these industries.” The results of this collaboration are planned to be presented by investigators from both NIOSH and Protea at the 54th Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting on March 22-26th in San Diego.