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Ger Pruijn, PhD

Biomolecular Chemist

Presentation: Low Molecular Weight Silicones Induce Cell Death in Cultured Cells

We have analyzed the effects of microdroplets of methylcyclosiloxanes, in particular D4, on the viability of cultured human cells. The exposure of Jurkat suspension and HeLa monolayer cells to D4 resulted not only in morphological changes of the cells, but also led to biomolecular changes that are characteristic for apoptosis, a form of programmed cell death. These effects appeared to be dependent on the D4 content and the size of the methylcyclosiloxanes (D4, D5 and D6). Our results indicate that D4 and, to a lesser extent, D5 can activate cell-death-related pathways in a cell type-specific fashion and suggest that this phenomenon may contribute to the development of Breast Implant Illness. 


Ger Pruijn, PhD, is professor in Biomolecular Chemistry and head of the Department of Biomolecular Chemistry at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Ger Pruijn received his PhD degree in Physiological Chemistry from the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands) in 1989. He has a special interest in autoantigenic macromolecular complexes that play a role in RNA metabolism in human cells.  In 1997 he became assistant professor in Biochemistry at the University of Nijmegen, which was followed by an associate professorship at the same university in 2000. Since 2006 he is full professor in Biomolecular Chemistry at the Radboud University. His current research is focused on autoantibody–autoantigen systems with a special interest in the role of post-translational modifications in the autoimmune response. Ger Pruijn has (co-)authored more than 200 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals, is co-inventor on 3 patents, co-founder of the companies ModiQuest and Novio Catalpa, and acted as consultant to several diagnostic companies.

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