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Linking exposures of particles released from nano-enabled products to toxicology: An integrated methodology for particle sampling, extraction, dispersion and dosing

Anoop K. Pal, Christa Watson, Sandra V. Pirela, Dilpreet Singh, Marie-Cecile G, Chalbot, Ilias Kavouras, & Philip Demokritou

Toxicological Sciences

Nano-enabled products (NEPs) represent a growing economic global market that integrates nanotechnology into our everyday lives. Increased consumer use and disposal of NEPs at their end of life has led to increased environmental, health and safety (EHS) concerns, due to the potential environmental release of constituent engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) used in the production of NEPs. Although, there is an urgent need to assess particulate matter (PM) release scenarios and potential EHS implications, no current standardized methodologies exist across the exposure- toxicological characterization continuum. Here, an integrated methodology is presented, that can be used to sample, extract, disperse and estimate relevant dose of life cycle released PM (LCPM), for in vitroand in vivo toxicological studies. The proposed methodology was utilized to evaluate two “real world” LCPM systems simulating consumer use and disposal of NEPs. This multi-step integrated methodology consists of: 1) real time monitoring and sampling of size fractionated LCPM; 2) efficient extraction of LCPM collected on substrates using aqueous or ethanol extraction protocols to ensure minimal physico-chemical alterations; 3) optimized LCPM dispersion preparation and characterization; 4) use of dosimetric techniques for in vitro and in vivo toxicological studies. This comprehensive framework provides a standardized protocol to assess the release and toxicological implications of ENMs released across the life cycle of NEPs and will help in addressing important knowledge gaps in the field of nanotoxicology.

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