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01.08.2014 | Research Paper | Ausgabe 8/2014

Journal of Nanoparticle Research 8/2014

Evaluation of twin-head electrospray nanoparticle disperser for nanotoxicity study

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Nanoparticle Research > Ausgabe 8/2014
Autoren:
Qiaoling Liu, Thomas Budiman, Da-Ren Chen

Abstract

With the rapid development of nanotechnology, nanoparticles with various sizes and compositions have been synthesized and proposed for industrial applications. At the same time, the health effects and environmental impacts of nanoparticles become an emerging concern to be addressed. Both in vitro and in vivo studies are of importance to better understand the toxicity of nanoparticles. It is thus essential to have a nanoparticle disperser capable of dispersing individual nanoparticles for these studies. A twin-head electrospray (THES) nanoparticle disperser for animal inhalation exposure studies has recently become commercially available from TSE Systems Inc. Different from the cone-jet electrospray method used in the majority of literature, this particular disperser operates at the multi-jet mode. In this study, we reported our finding on the performance evaluation of the THES disperser with respect to its mass throughput and quality of size distribution of aerosol produced. Three different nanomaterials (TiO2, ZnO, and NiO) were used in this study. It is found that the maximal mass throughput of the studied disperser was achieved by keeping the distance between two opposite spray capillary tips at 3.0 cm, operating the primary carrier-to-capillary sheath flow rates at the ratio of 4:3, and feeding spray suspensions at a flow rate of 20 µl/min. Under the above settings and operations, the highest mass concentration for nano-ZnO was measured at 14.56 mg/m3. Nanoparticle streams with higher concentrations can be further produced by lowering the total carrier gas flow rate and spraying suspensions of higher nanomaterial concentrations. Our study also found that the particle mass throughput of the studied disperser had a good linear relationship with the mass concentration of spray suspension. In addition, the spatial uniformity of nano aerosol distribution in a TSE head-nose-only exposure chamber was investigated. An acceptable nano aerosol uniformity result was concluded based on the criteria of the coefficient of variation.

Highlights

  • Experimental evaluation of TSE Systems twin-head electrospray nanoparticle disperser was performed.
  • TiO2, ZnO, and NiO were used in the mass throughput study of the investigated nanoparticle disperser.
  • Nano-ZnO mass concentration at 14.56 mg/m3 was achieved in this evaluation.
  • Nanoparticles in their individual form were evidenced by measured size distributions of nanoparticles, dispersed via the studied disperser.
  • Spatial uniformity of nano-aerosol in the animal exposure chamber was examined by the fluorescent nanoparticles.

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