Perfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs), such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), have been widely used for many industrial purposes and consumer-related applications and are therefore omnipresent in our environment.
However, these chemicals are persistent and accumulate in human and animal bodies, leading to major health issues. As dietary intake is the main route of exposure to PFASs, the gastrointestinal tract is the first physical barrier against these toxicants.
Surprisingly, their effect on the intestinal wall is largely unknown. Hence, we aim to achieve a breakthrough in the knowledge of PFASs uptake and effects, using state-of-the-art in vitro assays combined with novel analytical imaging techniques.
For this purpose, we will correlate light and electron microscopy that reveal inner morphology of the specimen with secondary ion mass spectrometry that provides analytical information.
The combination of different imaging techniques will provide insightful information to better understand potential negative impacts of PFASs on the gastrointestinal tract, and will open new opportunities in food toxicology and life sciences in general.
The intern will work closely with a team of researchers from materials and environmental science on a larger project to develop methodologies for correlative microscopy.
The objectives of this internship are to :
Skills / Qualifications