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Inhal Toxicol. 2004 Aug;16(9):657-62.

Performance of a portable whole-body mouse exposure system.

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  • 1Department of Community and Environmental Medicine, University of California, Irvine 93697-1825, and Southern California Particle Center and Supersite, University of California, Los Angeles, USA. moldham@uci.edu


A mobile whole-body exposure system was developed for exposing mice to concentrated ambient particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microm in mass median aerodynamic diameter (MMAD). Each 20-L exposure cage was designed to hold 9 mice within individual compartments. This allowed for transport and subsequent exposure. Airflow mixing and the potential for stagnant areas within the compartments were modeled using computational fluid dynamic modeling (CFD). CFD analysis showed no stagnant areas and good mixing throughout the exposure cage. The actual performance of the exposure system was determined for 0.5 to 2.0 microm diameter aerosols by measuring (1) uniformity of aerosol distribution and (2) particle deposition in the tracheobronchial and pulmonary regions of mice exposed in the system. A 0.6-microm MMAD (GSD=2.0) cigarette smoke aerosol was used to experimentally measure the uniformity of aerosol distribution to the nine individual compartments. The average data from three runs showed no statistically significant difference among individual compartments. Particle deposition efficiency in adult male BALB/c mice was measured after exposure (30 min) in the system using monodisperse fluorescent polystyrene latex particles (0.5, 1, and 2 microm aerodynamic diameter). The measured deposition efficiency in this mobile exposure system for the combined tracheobronchial and pulmonary regions of the adult male BALBc mice was 21% for 0.5 microm, 11% for 1.0 microm, and 6.5% for 2.0 microm particles. These deposition efficiencies are similar to those reported for mice exposed in a nose-only exposure system, which indicates that particle losses to animal fur and exposure system surfaces were acceptable.

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