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01.04.2016 | Research Paper | Ausgabe 4/2016 Open Access

Journal of Nanoparticle Research 4/2016

Validation of an air–liquid interface toxicological set-up using Cu, Pd, and Ag well-characterized nanostructured aggregates and spheres

Journal of Nanoparticle Research > Ausgabe 4/2016
C. R. Svensson, S. S. Ameer, L. Ludvigsson, N. Ali, A. Alhamdow, M. E. Messing, J. Pagels, A. Gudmundsson, M. Bohgard, E. Sanfins, M. Kåredal, K. Broberg, J. Rissler
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The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s11051-016-3389-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


Systems for studying the toxicity of metal aggregates on the airways are normally not suited for evaluating the effects of individual particle characteristics. This study validates a set-up for toxicological studies of metal aggregates using an air–liquid interface approach. The set-up used a spark discharge generator capable of generating aerosol metal aggregate particles and sintered near spheres. The set-up also contained an exposure chamber, The Nano Aerosol Chamber for In Vitro Toxicity (NACIVT). The system facilitates online characterization capabilities of mass mobility, mass concentration, and number size distribution to determine the exposure. By dilution, the desired exposure level was controlled. Primary and cancerous airway cells were exposed to copper (Cu), palladium (Pd), and silver (Ag) aggregates, 50–150 nm in median diameter. The aggregates were composed of primary particles <10 nm in diameter. For Cu and Pd, an exposure of sintered aerosol particles was also produced. The doses of the particles were expressed as particle numbers, masses, and surface areas. For the Cu, Pd, and Ag aerosol particles, a range of mass surface concentrations on the air–liquid interface of 0.4–10.7, 0.9–46.6, and 0.1–1.4 µg/cm2, respectively, were achieved. Viability was measured by WST-1 assay, cytokines (Il-6, Il-8, TNF-a, MCP) by Luminex technology. Statistically significant effects and dose response on cytokine expression were observed for SAEC cells after exposure to Cu, Pd, or Ag particles. Also, a positive dose response was observed for SAEC viability after Cu exposure. For A549 cells, statistically significant effects on viability were observed after exposure to Cu and Pd particles. The set-up produced a stable flow of aerosol particles with an exposure and dose expressed in terms of number, mass, and surface area. Exposure-related effects on the airway cellular models could be asserted.

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