JRC scientists contribute to the synthesis of radiolabelled gold nanoparticle aerosols for rodent inhalation and translocation studies
The paper deals with the production of radiolabelled gold nanoparticle aerosols by spark ignition at the Helmholtz Centre Munich using gold electrodes activated at the JRC’s Cyclotron Facility in Ispra, their characterisation in terms of chemical composition, crystalline structure, morphology, specific surface area and radioactivity, and their interaction with lung tissues and lung cells after 1 h inhalation by mice
|Contact Name||JRC-IHCP, Nanotechnology|
The intensive use of nanoparticles (NP) in many different applications necessitates studies on their risk assessment as there are still open questions on their safe handling and utilization. For reliable risk assessment, the interaction of NP with biological systems after various routes of exposure needs to be investigated using well-characterized NP.
With respect to this issue, scientists from the European Commission, Joint Research Centre co-authored a study published by the Journal of Nanoparticle Research, reporting on the generation of gold nanoparticles (Au-NP) aerosols for inhalation studies with the spark ignition technique. The Au-NP synthesis apparatus used was developed by the Comprehensive Pneumology Centre of the Institute for Lung Biology and Disease (Helmholtz Centre Munich).
According to the authors, the following aspects need to be addressed for inhaled NPs:
- distribution and transport of NP within the respiratory tract,
- their potential to cross the air–blood barrier (ABB) into the circulation and accumulate in secondary organs and tissues,
- toxicological responses in the lungs and other tissues to the presence and/or accumulation of NP.
In order to study and understand these mechanisms, well-characterized aerosols of nanometer-sized particles are required, and in case of studies of quantitative biokinetics, a stably incorporated radiolabel is required.
In order to create radiolabelled Au-NP, gold electrodes suitable for utilisation in the spark ignition apparatus were irradiated with high energy protons at the MC40 Cyclotron of the JRC’s Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (Ispra). In this way 195Au radioisotopes were created in the electrode tips. This radioisotope has a half-life of 186 days, and thus is suitable for relatively long-term in vivo biokinetics studies. The MC40 cyclotron is only one of a few in Europe that has the characteristics necessary for such irradiations, since the vast majority of other cyclotrons cannot accelerate protons to the energies necessary for 195Au creation. During spark ignition, the 195Au radioisotopes are incorporated into the Au-NP in exactly the same was as non-active gold atoms, thus allowing synthesis of radiolabelled Au-NP with exactly the same physical and chemical characteristics as non-labelled particles.
Read the full article:
W. Möller, N. Gibson, M. Geiser, S. Pokhrel, A. Wenk, S. Takenaka, O. Schmid, A. Bulgheroni, F. Simonelli, J. Kozempel, U. Holzwarth, C. Wigge, S. Eigeldinger-Berthou, L. Mädler and W. G. Kreyling, Gold nanoparticle aerosols for rodent inhalation and translocation studies, Journal of Nanoparticle Research © Springer Science+Business Media, doi: 10.1007/s11051-013-1574-9
Photo: The MC40 Cyclotron Accelerator at JRC-IHCP, Ispra. Copyright EU 2010.