BACKGROUND: Specific characteristics of particulate matter (PM) responsible for associations with respiratory health observed in epidemiological studies are not well established. High correlations among, and differential measurement errors of, individual components contribute to this uncertainty. OBJECTIVES: We investigated which characteristics of PM have the most consistent associations with acute changes in respiratory function in healthy volunteers. METHODS: We used a semiexperimental design to accurately assess exposure. We increased exposure contrast and reduced correlations among PM characteristics by exposing volunteers at five different locations: an underground train station, two traffic sites, a farm, and an urban background site. Each of the 31 participants was exposed for 5 hr while exercising intermittendy, three to seven times at different locations during March— October 2009. We measured PM₁₀ , PM₂.₅, particle number concentrations (PNC), absorbance, elemental/organic carbon, trace metals, secondary inorganic components, endotoxin content, gaseous pollutants, and PM oxidative potential. Lung function [FEV₁ (forced expiratory volume in 1 sec), FVC (forced vital capacity), FEF₂₅_₇₅ (forced expiratory flow at 25-75% of vital capacity), and PEF (peak expiratory flow)] and fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENQ) were measured before and at three time points after exposure. Data were analyzed with mixed linear regression. RESULTS: An interquartile increase in PNC (33,000 particles/cm³) was associated with an 11% [95% confidence interval (CI): 5, 17%] and 12% (95% CI: 6, 17%) FENO increase over baseline immediately and at 2 hr postexposure, respectively. A 7% (95% CI: 0.5, 14%) increase persisted until the following morning. These associations were robust and insensitive to adjustment for other pollutants. Similarly consistent associations were seen between FVC and FEV₁ with PNC, NO₂ (nitrogen dioxide), and NOX (nitrogen oxides). CONCLUSIONS: Changes in PNC, NO₂, and NOX were associated with evidence of acute airway inflammation (i. e., FENO) and impaired lung function. PM mass concentration and PM₁₀ oxidative potential were not predictive of the observed acute responses.
There have been a number of review papers on layered silicate and carbon nanotube reinforced polymer nanocomposites, in which the fillers have high aspect ratios. Particulate–polymer nanocomposites containing fillers with small aspect ratios are also an important class of polymer composites. However, they have been apparently overlooked. Thus, in this paper, detailed discussions on the effects of particle size, particle/matrix interface adhesion and particle loading on the stiffness, strength and toughness of such particulate–polymer composites are reviewed. To develop high performance particulate composites, it is necessary to have some basic understanding of the stiffening, strengthening and toughening mechanisms of these composites. A critical evaluation of published experimental results in comparison with theoretical models is given.
A study of particle size effects during the catalytic CO2 electroreduction on size-controlled Cu nanoparticles (NPs) is presented. Cu NP catalysts in the 2–15 nm mean size range were prepared, and their catalytic activity and selectivity during CO2 electroreduction were analyzed and compared to a bulk Cu electrode. A dramatic increase in the catalytic activity and selectivity for H2 and CO was observed with decreasing Cu particle size, in particular, for NPs below 5 nm. Hydrocarbon (methane and ethylene) selectivity was increasingly suppressed for nanoscale Cu surfaces. The size dependence of the surface atomic coordination of model spherical Cu particles was used to rationalize the experimental results. Changes in the population of low-coordinated surface sites and their stronger chemisorption were linked to surging H2 and CO selectivities, higher catalytic activity, and smaller hydrocarbon selectivity. The presented activity–selectivity–size relations provide novel insights in the CO2 electroreduction reaction on nanoscale surfaces. Our smallest nanoparticles (∼2 nm) enter the ab initio computationally accessible size regime, and therefore, the results obtained lend themselves well to density functional theory (DFT) evaluation and reaction mechanism verification.
Objectives This study was designed to assess the relationship of high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), HDL particle size, and apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) with the occurrence of coronary artery disease (CAD), with a focus on the effect of very high values of these parameters. Background High plasma levels of HDL-C and apoA-I are inversely related to the risk of CAD. However, recent data suggest that this relationship does not hold true for very high HDL-C levels, particularly when a preponderance of large HDL particles is observed. Methods We conducted a post-hoc analysis of 2 prospective studies: the IDEAL (incremental Decrease in End Points through Aggressive Lipid Lowering; n = 8,888) trial comparing the efficacy of high-dose to usual-dose statin treatment for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular events, and the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition)-Norfolk case-control study, including apparently healthy individuals who did (cases, n = 858) or did not (control patients, n = 1,491) develop CAD during follow-up. In IDEAL, only HDL-C and apoA-I were available; in EPIC-Norfolk, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy-determined HDL particle sizes were also available. Results In the IDEAL study, higher HDL-C proved a significant major cardiac event risk factor following adjustment for age, gender, smoking, apoA-I, and apoB. A similar association was observed for HDL particle size in EPIC-Norfolk. Increased risk estimates were particularly present in the high ends of the distributions. In contrast, apoA-I remained negatively associated across the major part of its distribution in both studies. Conclusions When apoA-I and apoB are kept constant, HDL-C and HDL particle size may confer risk at very high values. This does not hold true for very high levels of apoA-I at fixed levels of HDL-C and apoB. These findings may have important consequences for assessment and treatment of CAD risk
The condensational growth rate of aerosol particles formed in atmospheric new particle formation events is one of the most important factors influencing the lifetime of these particles and their ability to become climatically relevant. Diameter growth rates (GR) of nucleation mode particles were studied based on almost 7 yr of data measured during the years 2003-2009 at a boreal forest measurement station SMEAR II in Hyytiala, Finland. The particle growth rates were estimated using particle size distributions measured with a Differential Mobility Particle Sizer (DMPS), a Balanced Scanning Mobility Analyzer (BSMA) and an Air Ion Spectrometer (AIS). Two GR analysis methods were tested. The particle growth rates were also compared to an extensive set of ambient meteorological parameters and trace gas concentrations to investigate the processes/constituents limiting the aerosol growth. The median growth rates of particles in the nucleation mode size ranges with diameters of 1.5-3 nm, 3-7 nm and 7-20 nm were 1.9 nm h(-1), 3.8 nm h(-1), and 4.3 nm h(-1), respectively. The median relative uncertainties in the growth rates due to the size distribution instrumentation in these size ranges were 25 %, 19 %, and 8 %, respectively. For the smallest particles (1.5-3 nm) the AIS data yielded on average higher growth rate values than the BSMA data, and higher growth rates were obtained from positively charged size distributions as compared with negatively charged particles. For particles larger than 3 nm in diameter no such systematic differences were found. For these particles the uncertainty in the growth rate related to the analysis method, with relative uncertainty of 16 %, was similar to that related to the instruments. The growth rates of 7-20 nm particles showed positive correlation with monoterpene concentrations and their oxidation rate by ozone. The oxidation rate by OH did not show a connection with GR. Our results indicate that the growth of nucleation mode particles in Hyytiala is mainly limited by the concentrations of organic precursors.
Gold nanoparticles (AuNP) provide many opportunities in imaging, diagnostics, and therapy in nanomedicine. For the assessment of AuNP biokinetics, we intratracheally instilled into rats a suite of 198Au-radio-labeled monodisperse, well-characterized, negatively charged AuNP of five different sizes (1.4, 2.8, 5, 18, 80, 200 nm) and 2.8 nm AuNP with positive surface charges. At 1, 3, and 24 h, the biodistribution of the AuNP was quantitatively measured by gamma-spectrometry to be used for comprehensive risk assessment. Our study shows that as AuNP get smaller, they are more likely to cross the air–blood barrier (ABB) depending strongly on the inverse diameter d –1 of their gold core, i.e., their specific surface area (SSA). So, 1.4 nm AuNP (highest SSA) translocated most, while 80 nm AuNP (lowest SSA) translocated least, but 200 nm particles did not follow the d –1 relation translocating significantly higher than 80 nm AuNP. However, relative to the AuNP that had crossed the ABB, their retention in most of the secondary organs and tissues was SSA-independent. Only renal filtration, retention in blood, and excretion via urine further declined with d –1 of AuNP core. Translocation of 5, 18, and 80 nm AuNP is virtually complete after 1 h, while 1.4 nm AuNP continue to translocate until 3 h. Translocation of negatively charged 2.8 nm AuNP was significantly higher than for positively charged 2.8 nm AuNP. Our study shows that translocation across the ABB and accumulation and retention in secondary organs and tissues are two distinct processes, both depending specifically on particle characteristics such as SSA and surface charge.
Previous studies observed associations between airborne particles and cardio-vascular disease. Questions, however, remain as to which size of the inhalable particles (coarse, fine, or ultrafine) exerts the most significant impact on health. For this retrospective study, data of the total number of 23,741 emergency service calls, registered between February 2002 and January 2003 in the City of Leipzig, were analysed, identifying 5326 as being related to cardiovascular incidences. Simultaneous particle exposure was determined for the particle sizes classes < 100 nm (UFP), < 2.5 μm (PM2.5) and < 10 μm (PM10). We used a time resolution of 1 day for both parameters, emergency calls and exposure. Within the group of cardiovascular diseases, the diagnostic category of hypertensive crisis showed a significant association with particle exposure. The significant effect on hypertensive crisis was found for particles with a size of < 100 nm in diameter and starting with a lag of 2 days after exposure. No consistent influence could be observed for PM2.5 and PM10. The Odds Ratios on hypertensive crisis were significant for the particle size < 100 nm in diameter from day 2 post exposure OR = 1.06 (95%CI: 1.02–1.10, p = 0.002) up to day 7 OR = 1.05 (95%CI 1.02–1.09, p = 0.005). Ultrafine particles affect cardiovascular disease adversely, particularly hypertensive crises. Their effect is significant compared with PM2.5 and PM10. It appears necessary, from a public health point of view, to consider regulating this type of particles using appropriate measurands as particle number. ► Considering for the first time a detailed size distribution of fine and ultrafine particles and their influence on health. ► The number of ultrafine particles is of higher importance for cardiovascular disease than the particle mass of PM2.5 or PM10. ► Health effects start 2 days after exposure.
► Wood pyrolysis was characterized in a drop tube reactor at temperatures above 1000°C. ► Different temperatures and particle sizes were tested. ► No particle effect was observed during the experiments. ► High temperatures favor hydrocarbon destruction and soot formation. ► Char and soot suffer from some changes with a temperature increase. Fast pyrolysis of wood was conducted in a drop tube furnace to study the influence of temperature (1000–1200–1400°C) and particle size (0.35–0.80mm) for a particle residence time of some seconds. No effect of particle size has been observed on final pyrolysis products. At 1000°C, much more gas and tar are produced than char (yield of 96% versus 4%); hydrocarbons, including light species and tar, present a considerable yield of 26%. From 1200°C, the drastic hydrocarbons decomposition, emphasized with temperature, leads to high yields in soot, H2 and CO. At 1200°C, no tar are detected; at 1400°C only low amounts of CH4 and C2H2 still remain. Under the explored conditions, char and soot gasification with H2O and CO2, species produced during pyrolysis, is kinetically blocked. However, even if carbonaceous solids do not seem to be considerably affected by gasification, they suffer some changes when temperature is increased.
Catalytic activity of 4–40 nm gold nanoparticles supported on γ-Al2O3 in the reaction of ortho–para conversion of protium has been studied. The results of test indicate that nanoparticles exhibit a high catalytic activity and the rate of reaction, virtually does not depend on the particle size. [Display omitted
Quantitative studies on the uptake of nanoparticles into biological systems should consider simultaneous agglomera tion, sedimentation, and diffusion at physiologically relevant concentrations to assess the corresponding risks of nanomaterials to human health. In this paper, the transport and uptake of industrially important cerium oxide nanoparticles, into human lung fibroblasts is measured in vitro after exposing thoroughly characterized particle suspensions to a fibroblast cell culture for particles of four separate size fractions and concentrations ranging from 100 ng g-1 to 100 μg g-1 of fluid (100 ppb to 100 ppm). The unexpected findings at such low but physiologically relevant concentrations reveal a strong dependence of the amount of incorporated ceria on particle size, while nanoparticle number density or total particle surface area are of minor importance. These findings can be explained on the basis of a purely physical model. The rapid formation of agglomerates in the liquid is strongly favored for small particles due to a high number density while larger ones stay mainly unagglomerated. Diffusion (size fraction 25−50 nm) or sedimentation (size fraction 250−500 nm) limits the transport of nanoparticles to the fibroblast cells. The biological uptake processes on the surface of the cell are faster than the physical transport to the cell at such low concentrations. Comparison of the colloid stability of a series of oxide nanoparticles reveals that untreated oxide suspensions rapidly agglomerate in biological fluids and allows the conclusion that the presented transport and uptake kinetics at low concentrations may be extended to other industrially relevant materials.