Researchers at UMass Lowell Improve Understanding of Nanomaterial Toxicology

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Accurate characterization of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) is important to understanding their toxicity. Experimental errors resulting from inadequate characterization of dispersions and their impact on the delivered dose to cells are poorly documented and may contribute to irreproducible or conflicting results.

Prof. Dhimiter Bello's group at UMass Lowell explored for the first time the utility of nanopore based Tunable Resistive Pulse Sensing (TRPS) technology and optimized its use for characterization of engineered nanomaterial dispersions in cell culture medium containing serum, conditions applicable to in vitro nanotoxicology studies. In close collaboration with Prof. Philip Demokritou of the Harvard School of Public Health(Director of the Center for Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology), they are applying advanced in vitro dosimetry models recently developed at Harvard to estimate the impact of changes in nanoparticle size distributions in cell culture media on the delivered dose to cells, and the subsequent changes in in vitrodose-response relationships and hazard ranking of nanomaterials.

Accurate size distribution measurements are paramount to understanding the impact on the ENM dose-response relationships. "TRPS offers competitive instrumental costs, portability, better accuracy, and the potential for extracting additional information on aggregate morphology, dynamic particle-particle and particle-biomolecule interactions."

UPDATE: This research was recently published in ACS Nano: "High Resolution Characterization of Engineered Nanomaterial Dispersions in Complex Media Using Tunable Resistive Pulse Sensing Technology" Link to article.

Further Reading:

High Resolution Characterization of Engineered Nanomaterial Dispersions in Complex Media Using Tunable Resistive Pulse Sensing Technology. Anoop K. Pal , Iraj Aalaei , Suresh Gadde , Peter Gaines , Daniel Schmidt , Philip Demokritou , and Dhimiter Bello  ACS Nano, Just Accepted Manuscript DOI: 10.1021/nn502219q.