Estimating the effective density of engineered nanomaterials for in vitro dosimetry

Glen DeLoid, Joel M. Cohen, Tom Darrah, Raymond Derk, Liying Rojanasakul, Georgios Pyrgiotakis, Wendel Wohlleben, Philip Demokritou, 2014

Image courtesy of Nature Communications


The need for accurate in vitro dosimetry remains a major obstacle to the development of cost-effective toxicological screening methods for engineered nanomaterials. An important key to accurate in vitro dosimetry is the characterization of sedimentation and diffusion rates of nanoparticles suspended in culture media, which largely depend upon the effective density and diameter of formed agglomerates in suspension. Here we present a rapid and inexpensive method for accurately measuring the effective density of nano-agglomerates in suspension. This novel method is based on the volume of the pellet obtained by benchtop centrifugation of nanomaterial suspensions in a packed cell volume tube, and is validated against gold-standard analytical ultracentrifugation data. This simple and cost-effective method allows nanotoxicologists to correctly model nanoparticle transport, and thus attain accurate dosimetry in cell culture systems, which will greatly advance the development of reliable and efficient methods for toxicological testing and investigation of nano–bio interactions in vitro.

Impact Statement

In situ LC-TEM images of agglomerates of CeO2 particles are presented as part of a larger study on the development of a method to quantify dosimetry data from samples prepared using centrifugation prepared.
Keywords: Nanoparticles