JRC scientists contributed to a biokinetics study investigating the fate of inhaled gold nanoparticles in rats. This work will contribute to the understanding of risks related to possible inhalation exposure of workers, since gold nanostructures are frequently used as catalysts for production of plastic materials.
Gold nanostructures and especially gold nanoparticles hold great promise as catalysts in production processes and an increasing use in industrial processes can be anticipated. This may lead to increased professional and possibly environmental exposure.
It is therefore important to understand the possible risks, e.g. through inhalation of gold particles.
Therefore, in close collaboration with scientists from the German Helmholtz Center Munich and the Swiss University of Bern, JRC scientists contributed to a biokinetics study based on the use of radiolabeled gold nanoparticles (195Au).
The nanoparticles were produced through synthesis by spark discharge between two proton irradiated gold electrodes prepared in the JRC's former cyclotron facility. The biokinetics and biodistribution of these radiolabelled 20 nm gold nanoparticles were then studied by the other research partners in adult female Wistar-Kyoto rats. The main clearance pathways of nanoparticles out of the lung were via mucociliary clearance and macrophage-mediated clearance toward ciliated airways and the larynx.
Translocation through the air-blood barrier into the body accounted only for a few percent of the lung-deposited dose.
From the nanoparticle deposition patterns studied in 7−90 day old rats by ex-vivo single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and autoradiography on excised and microwave dried lungs, age-dependent nanoparticle concentrations were found which can be correlated with the development of the anatomical lung structures.
Read more in: W.G. Kreyling, et al.: Age-dependent rat lung deposition patterns of inhaled 20 nanometer gold nanoparticles and their quantitative biokinetics in adult rats, ACS Nano 12 (2018) 7771–7790, DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.8b01826
- Publication date
- 15 November 2018