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Fundam Appl Toxicol. 1993 Feb;20(2):170-6.

A novel system for the in vitro exposure of pulmonary cells to acid sulfate aerosols.

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Institute of Environmental Medicine, New York University Medical Center, Tuxedo 10987.


While ambient acid aerosols are considered a potential respiratory health hazard, the mechanism by which they induce responses in the lungs is not known. Attempts to ascertain these mechanisms using inhalation exposures are complicated by a number of technical difficulties, chief among which are neutralization of inhaled acids by endogenous ammonia and variations in deposition with inhaled particle size. To control for these variables, a novel in vitro exposure system allowing experimental evaluation of factors which influence biologic responses to acid sulfate particles was developed. The system consists of two subunits, a generation/delivery component and a cell exposure component. Sulfuric acid aerosols are generated by nebulizing dilute acid solutions. Particles larger than a specified size of interest (based upon the specific exposure conditions desired) are removed, and particles at the desired size and mass concentration are uniformly delivered onto a target cell monolayer. The system is capable of delivering acid particles larger than 0.7 micron (mass median diameter), yet at constant particle mass concentrations. This paper describes the design of the exposure system and its performance characteristics and presents initial results of some biological responses obtained using it. In conjunction with inhalation studies, this exposure system may provide additional insights into mechanisms by which acid aerosols adversely affect the respiratory tract and into the physical characteristics of acid particles which modulate toxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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