Dr Cyrill Bussy


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Nanosafety or safety of manufactured nanomaterials aims at addressing those issues related to the impact of nanomaterials on human health (hazard assessment) and how humans get exposed to those materials (exposure assessment) in order to evaluate their potential emerging risk to health.

Manufactured nanomaterials have outstanding properties at the nanoscale, but this comes with some hurdles when contacting biological systems. Due to their dimensions, these materials are indeed able to interact with most of the components (molecules, receptors or organelles) of any human cell, potentially disrupting all physiological processes, and causing non communicable diseases. We are trying to reveal which physicochemical or biological features are the most likely to cause inflammation, genotoxicity or toxic reaction, with the ultimate aim to guide the production of safer nanomaterials using a safer-by-design approach.  


To address those issues, we work at the interface of material sciences and biology, using the most advanced methodologies in each area. Using carbon nanomaterials, in particular graphene based materials, as a case study, we have shown that dimensions, surface properties such as surface chemistry, and the ability of nanomaterials to adsorb biological molecules (bio-corona) are three essential parameters that can be used as predictive factors of the toxicity or inertness of manufactured nanomaterials.

University of Manchester Roles & Connections

External Roles and Connections


After completion of an internship at the Pasteur Institute, Rabies Virus Unit, in Paris, Cyrill graduated from the University Clermont Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, with a MSc degree in Cell & Molecular Biology (specialised in Microbiology, Parasitology-Virology). The following year he obtained a MRes degree in Biomedical Engineering (Biomaterials and Tissue engineering) from the University of Technology, Compiègne (UTC), France, working in close collaboration with the Technology Transfer Centre in Le Mans. He then pursued a PhD in Toxicology at the Radio-Toxicology Laboratory, French National Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), Fontenay-aux roses, France. This work was co-funded by the French Union Chamber of Mineral Waters (including Danone Group, Nestle Waters France, Neptune).

Returning to the University of Technology, Compiègne, Biomaterials Group, he started his postdoctoral training with a project investigating the biocompatibility of innovative pectin-based nanocoatings for implants and prosthesis. This industrial application-driven project was funded by the European Commission FP6 Pecticoat project (Nanobiotechnology for the coating of medical devices). He then moved to the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) at the Faculty of Medicine Mondor-Créteil, France. There, he evaluated how the physico-chemical properties of carbon nanotubes may influence their biological impacts on pulmonary macrophages, in the context of occupational exposure. Half of this work was performed at the Laboratoire de Physique des Solides (affiliated to CNRS), University of Paris Saclay, and also in collaboration with the CEA (IRAMIS, NIMBE Department), the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ID21 group) and the chemicals and advanced materials specialist group Arkema. This work was funded by the French National Research Agency and the Nanosciences Cluster of the Ile-de-France region.

In 2010, he relocated to the UK and joined the Nanomedicine Lab, UCL School of Pharmacy, University College London, as a visiting post-doctoral scientist and was awarded a Marie Sklodowska-Curie career development Fellowship by the European Commission (FP7) in 2011 to assess the pros and cons of using carbon nanotubes for nanomedicine in the brain. Upon completion of the Marie Curie project, he joined the University of Manchester as a Lecturer in Nanosafety.

Social responsibility

Research with impact beyond academia:

  • Our review article on graphene published in 2013, titled: ‘Safety considerations for graphene: lessons learnt from carbon nanotubes’ is featured as a guide to help inform in a special thematic issue of Science for Environment Policy, a free news and information service published by the European Commission’s Directorate-General Environment, which provides the latest environmental policy-relevant research findings. More details here.

Engaging our communities:

  • Our lab members were @ Manchester museum for the Community Festival (June 17th), for the European Researchers' Night 2017 (Sept 29th) and for the Manchester Science Festival 2017 (Oct 21st)
  • Our lab was featured in the 'wonder materials: grahene and beyond' exhibition at Museum of Science and Industry (July 2016 - June 2017).
  • Our lab took part in the production of a play 'Regenerating the Future' that was performed 3 times in Hospital theatres in June 2016. This play is presenting the research on regenerative medicine performed by scientists of the Centre for Tissue Injury and Repair. A movie will be available soon for the wider audience.   
  • Our lab members were @ Manchester Museum of Science and Industry in July 2016 for "Science is a Revolution", a public engagement event part of ESOF16 'science in the city' festival programme' funded by the Marie Sklodoaska-Curie Actions (EU Commission).
  • Our lab members took part in a 'science lates' event @ Manchester Museum of Science and Industry as part of ESOF16 'science in the city' festival programme' to enhance the visitors experience of the 'wonder materials: grahene and beyond' exhibition (Wed 27th July).
  • C Bussy was invited as expert together with two scientists (G Dorthe and S Lacour) for the European Student Parliament 2016 to discuss with A level students coming from Europe. This led to the hand-over of recommendations to two EU MPs on Wed. 27th July at the Manchester Town Hall council chamber.  
  • Two members of the lab chaired an ESOF16 session on advanced material and enhanced human (July 2016).  
  • Our lab members were present @ Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) experimental weekender special event 2015 to help the public building a giant graphene layer, producing graphene from graphite flakes and talk about graphene science (26-28th June)
  • Our lab members were @ Manchester museum for the European Researchers' Night 2015 (Sept 25th)
  • The CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research) has released in its online journal for non-experts a special issue on graphene safety (2015), including informations based on an interview with Dr. Bussy (in French).