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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Electron energy loss spectroscopy for analysis of inhaled ultrafine particles in rat lungs.

Epidemiologic studies have associated cardiovascular morbidity and mortality with ambient particulate air pollution. Particles smaller than 100 nm in diameter (ultrafine particles) are present in the urban atmosphere in very high numbers yet at very low mass concentration. Organs beyond the lungs are considered as targets for inhaled ultrafine particles, whereby the route of particle translocation deeper into the lungs is unclear. Five rats were exposed to aerosols of ultrafine titanium dioxide particles of a count median diameter of 22 nm (geometric standard deviation, GSD 1.7) for 1 hour. The lungs were fixed by intravascular perfusion of fixatives immediately thereafter. TiO(2) particles in probes of the aerosol as well as in systematic tissue samples were analyzed with a LEO 912 transmission electron microscope equipped with an energy filter for elemental microanalysis. The characteristic energy loss spectra were obtained by fast spectrum acquisition. Aerosol particles as well as those in the lung tissue were unambiguously identified by electron energy loss spectroscopy. Particles were mainly found as small clusters with a rounded shape. Seven percent of the particles in the lung tissue had a needle-like shape. The size distribution of the cluster profiles in the tissue had a count median diameter of 29 nm (GSD 1.7), which indicates no severe clustering or reshaping of the originally inhaled particles. Electron energy loss spectroscopy and related analytical methods were found to be suitable to identify and localize ultrafine titanium dioxide particles within chemically fixed and resin-embedded lung tissue.[1]


  1. Electron energy loss spectroscopy for analysis of inhaled ultrafine particles in rat lungs. Kapp, N., Kreyling, W., Schulz, H., Im Hof, V., Gehr, P., Semmler, M., Geiser, M. Microsc. Res. Tech. (2004) [Pubmed]
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