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The generation of diesel exhaust particle aerosols from a bulk source in an aerodynamic size range similar to atmospheric particles

Authors Daniel J Cooney, Anthony J Hickey

Published 5 December 2008 Volume 2008:3(4) Pages 435—449


Daniel J Cooney1, Anthony J Hickey2

1Department of Biomedical Engineering; 2School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Abstract: The influence of diesel exhaust particles (DEP) on the lungs and heart is currently a topic of great interest in inhalation toxicology. Epidemiological data and animal studies have implicated airborne particulate matter and DEP in increased morbidity and mortality due to a number of cardiopulmonary diseases including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, and lung cancer. The pathogeneses of these diseases are being studied using animal models and cell culture techniques. Real-time exposures to freshly combusted diesel fuel are complex and require significant infrastructure including engine operations, dilution air, and monitoring and control of gases. A method of generating DEP aerosols from a bulk source in an aerodynamic size range similar to atmospheric DEP would be a desirable and useful alternative. Metered dose inhaler technology was adopted to generate aerosols from suspensions of DEP in the propellant hydrofluoroalkane 134a. Inertial impaction data indicated that the particle size distributions of the generated aerosols were trimodal, with count median aerodynamic diameters less than 100 nm. Scanning electron microscopy of deposited particles showed tightly aggregated particles, as would be expected from an evaporative process. Chemical analysis indicated that there were no major changes in the mass proportion of 2 specific aromatic hydrocarbons (benzo[a]pyrene and benzo[k]fluoranthene) in the particles resulting from the aerosolization process.

Keywords: diesel exhaust particles, aerosol, inhalation toxicology

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