Gateway for:

Member Countries

Human Tissues Exposed to Heavy Metals


Research into the Mechanisms of Structural-functional Stability of Human Tissues Exposed to Heavy Metals

Tech Area / Field

  • BIO-CGM/Cytology, Genetics and Molecular Biology/Biotechnology
  • MED-OTH/Other/Medicine
  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics, Russia, Moscow reg., Puschino

Supporting institutes

  • VNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov\nKurchatov Research Center, Russia, Moscow\nPulmonology Research Institute, Russia, Moscow\nInstitute of Cell Biophysics, Russia, Moscow reg., Puschino\nCentral Research Dermatovenerologic Institute, Russia, Moscow


  • Photon Factory, KEK, Japan, Ibaraki\nUniversity of Edinburg / Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology, UK, Edinburgh

Project summary

The purpose of this project is to study the mechanisms of structural-functional stability of human tissues exposed to heavy metals.

We intend to use methods of structural biology such as small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence analysis (SRXFA), scanning electron microscopy with microprobe analysis. These methods are adequate in studying the structural features of intact tissues and provide the possibility of following alterations in biological structures on pathologies, which can efficiently be used in medical diagnosis. Because the normal conditions for the functioning of living organisms are ensured by homeostasis, that is the tendency for stability of all organism systems under continually changing external conditions, the research into the structural homeostasis of tissue is taken here as a special goal and will be considered in two aspects: under the normal functioning of the organism and under the action of various pathogenic factors.

The primary objective of this Project is to study the effect of heavy metals on the structural morphology of epithelial tissues at the level of both the intracellular structures of the cytoskeleton and the intercellular matrix which includes tissue-specific fibrillar proteins and glycoprotein structures. This study will enable us to elucidate the mechanisms that ensure the stability of epithelial tissues in norm and to reveal factors disturbing the structural stability of tissues under pathological conditions. Within the framework of our Project is the development of a structural model of binding heavy metals with intracellular and intercellular biopolymers, which will help in searching appropriate morphological markers for the large-scale monitoring of ecological and oncological risks.

The main goals of the Project:

1. Development of methods to define the type of chemical binding of heavy metals, the way of action , and the quantitative characteristics of influence of heavy metals on the structure of epithelial tissue;
2. Conduction of morphological and ultrastructural analysis of microstructural alterations in tissues under the action of heavy metals by using scanning electron microscopy with electron probe microanalysis;
3. Small-angle X-ray diffraction study of the dynamics of fibrillar structure alterations of cell cytoskeleton and intercellular matrix upon interaction of tissues with heavy metals;
4. Study of the role of heavy metals in the structural transformation of the intercellular matrix of hair tissue by small-angle X-ray scattering and X-ray fluorescence analysis;
5. A complex study of lung tumors developed under megapolis conditions and on territories with man-made pollutions as well as in patients with occupational respiratory diseases;
6. Investigation of the structural peculiarities of stromal and cytoskeletal proteins and the microelement composition of skin tissues in patients suffering from dermatoses and neoplasms, determination of markers to characterize the stromal-epithelial interactions of skin tissue in norm and pathology and their changes under the action of therapeutic treatment;
7. Development of an experimental model mother-fetus in ontogenesis (on mice) to study exogenous and endogenous effects of heavy metals on the organism of mother and developing fetus.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

Promotional Material

Значимы проект

See ISTC's new Promotional video view