In-situ aerosol nanoparticle characterization by small angle X-ray scattering at ultra-low volume fraction.
ABSTRACT: State-of-the-art aerosol nanoparticle techniques all have one feature in common: for analysis they remove the nanoparticles from their original environment. Therefore, physical and chemical properties of the particles might be changed or cannot be measured correctly. To overcome these shortcomings, we apply synchrotron based small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) as an in-situ measurement technique. Contrasting other aerosol studies using SAXS, we focus on particle concentrations which allow direct comparison to common aerosol nanoparticle analyzers. To this end, we analyze aerosol nanoparticles at ambient pressure and concentrations of slightly above ~106 cm-3. A differential mobility particle sizer (DMPS) is operated in parallel. We find that SAXS enables measurement of the primary particles and the aggregates, whereas the DMPS detects only aggregates. We conclude that in-situ nanoparticle characterization with ultra-low volume fractions of ~10-10 is feasible with SAXS. Our technique opens up a doorway to the in-situ analysis of aerosol nanoparticles under atmospheric conditions.
Project description:Composite nanoparticles find application in catalysis, drug delivery, and energy storage and require increasingly fine control of their physical properties and composition. While composite nanoparticles have been widely synthesized and characterized, little work has systematically correlated the initial concentration of precursors and the final composition of flame synthesized composite nanoparticles. This relationship is explored in a diffusion flame aerosol reactor by coupling a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) with an inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES). A framework for studying the relationship between the initial precursor concentrations of different elements and the final nanoparticle composition is explored. The size-resolved elemental composition was measured by directly injecting size-selected fractions of aggregated magnetite and silicon dioxide composite nanoparticles into the ICP-OES plasma. This work showed a correlation between precursor molar ratio and the measured elemental ratio in the mobility size range of 50 to 140 nm. Building on previous work studying size resolved elemental composition of engineered nanoparticles, the analysis is extended to flame synthesized composite nanoparticle aggregates in this work.
Project description:Achieving control over the size distribution of metal-organic-framework (MOF) nanoparticles is key to biomedical applications and seeding techniques. Electrochemical control over the nanoparticle synthesis of the MOF, HKUST-1, is achieved using a nanopipette injection method to locally mix Cu<sup>2+</sup> salt precursor and benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxylate (BTC<sup>3-</sup> ) ligand reagents, to form MOF nanocrystals, and collect and characterise them on a TEM grid. In?situ analysis of the size and translocation frequency of HKUST-1 nanoparticles is demonstrated, using the nanopipette to detect resistive pulses as nanoparticles form. Complementary modelling of mass transport in the electric field, enables particle size to be estimated and explains the feasibility of particular reaction conditions, including inhibitory effects of excess BTC<sup>3-</sup> . These new methods should be applicable to a variety of MOFs, and scaling up synthesis possible via arrays of nanoscale reaction centres, for example using nanopore membranes.
Project description:This paper describes the production and characteristics of the nanoparticle test materials prepared for common use in the collaborative research project NanoChOp (Chemical and optical characterization of nanomaterials in biological systems), in casu suspensions of silica nanoparticles and CdSe/CdS/ZnS quantum dots (QDs). This paper is the first to illustrate how to assess whether nanoparticle test materials meet the requirements of a "reference material" (ISO Guide 30, 2015) or rather those of the recently defined category of "representative test material (RTM)" (ISO/TS 16195, 2013). The NanoChOp test materials were investigated with small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), dynamic light scattering (DLS), and centrifugal liquid sedimentation (CLS) to establish whether they complied with the required monomodal particle size distribution. The presence of impurities, aggregates, agglomerates, and viable microorganisms in the suspensions was investigated with DLS, CLS, optical and electron microscopy and via plating on nutrient agar. Suitability of surface functionalization was investigated with attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (ATR-FTIR) and via the capacity of the nanoparticles to be fluorescently labeled or to bind antibodies. Between-unit homogeneity and stability were investigated in terms of particle size and zeta potential. This paper shows that only based on the outcome of a detailed characterization process one can raise the status of a test material to RTM or reference material, and how this status depends on its intended use.
Project description:Rheological behavior of aqueous suspensions containing nanometer-sized powders is of relevance to many branches of industry. Unusually high viscosities observed for suspensions of nanoparticles compared to those of micron size powders cannot be explained by current viscosity models. Formation of so-called hydration layer on alumina nanoparticles in water was hypothesized, but never observed experimentally. We report here on the direct visualization of aqueous suspensions of alumina with the fluid cell in situ. We observe the hydration layer formed over the particle aggregates and show that such hydrated aggregates constitute new particle assemblies and affect the flow behavior of the suspensions. We discuss how these hydrated nanoclusters alter the effective solid content and the viscosity of nanostructured suspensions. Our findings elucidate the source of high viscosity observed for nanoparticle suspensions and are of direct relevance to many industrial sectors including materials, food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical among others employing colloidal slurries with nanometer-scale particles.
Project description:Individual luminescent nanoparticles enable thermometry with sub-diffraction limited spatial resolution, but potential self-heating effects from high single-particle excitation intensities remain largely uninvestigated because thermal models predict negligible self-heating. Here, we report that the common "ratiometric" thermometry signal of individual NaYF<sub>4</sub>:Yb<sup>3+</sup>,Er<sup>3+</sup> nanoparticles unexpectedly increases with excitation intensity, implying a temperature rise over 50?K if interpreted as thermal. Luminescence lifetime thermometry, which we demonstrate for the first time using individual NaYF<sub>4</sub>:Yb<sup>3+</sup>,Er<sup>3+</sup> nanoparticles, indicates a similar temperature rise. To resolve this apparent contradiction between model and experiment, we systematically vary the nanoparticle's thermal environment: the substrate thermal conductivity, nanoparticle-substrate contact resistance, and nanoparticle size. The apparent self-heating remains unchanged, demonstrating that this effect is an artifact, not a real temperature rise. Using rate equation modeling, we show that this artifact results from increased radiative and non-radiative relaxation from higher-lying Er<sup>3+</sup> energy levels. This study has important implications for single-particle thermometry.
Project description:Nanomanufacturing of nanoparticles is critical for potential translation and commercialization. Continuous flow devices can alleviate this need through unceasing production of nanoparticles. Here we demonstrate the scaled-up production of spherical nanoparticles functionalized with biomedical cargos from the rod-shaped plant virus tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) using a mesofluidic, continued flow method. Production yields were increased 30-fold comparing the mesofluidic device versus batch methods. Finally, we produced MRI contrast agents of select sizes, with per particle relaxivity reaching 979,218 mM<sup>-1</sup> s<sup>-1</sup> at 60 MHz. These TMV-based spherical nanoparticle MRI contrast agents are in the top echelon of relaxivity per nanoparticle.
Project description:<h4>Abstract</h4>Systems for studying the toxicity of metal aggregates on the airways are normally not suited for evaluating the effects of individual particle characteristics. This study validates a set-up for toxicological studies of metal aggregates using an air-liquid interface approach. The set-up used a spark discharge generator capable of generating aerosol metal aggregate particles and sintered near spheres. The set-up also contained an exposure chamber, The Nano Aerosol Chamber for In Vitro Toxicity (NACIVT). The system facilitates online characterization capabilities of mass mobility, mass concentration, and number size distribution to determine the exposure. By dilution, the desired exposure level was controlled. Primary and cancerous airway cells were exposed to copper (Cu), palladium (Pd), and silver (Ag) aggregates, 50-150 nm in median diameter. The aggregates were composed of primary particles <10 nm in diameter. For Cu and Pd, an exposure of sintered aerosol particles was also produced. The doses of the particles were expressed as particle numbers, masses, and surface areas. For the Cu, Pd, and Ag aerosol particles, a range of mass surface concentrations on the air-liquid interface of 0.4-10.7, 0.9-46.6, and 0.1-1.4 µg/cm<sup>2</sup>, respectively, were achieved. Viability was measured by WST-1 assay, cytokines (Il-6, Il-8, TNF-a, MCP) by Luminex technology. Statistically significant effects and dose response on cytokine expression were observed for SAEC cells after exposure to Cu, Pd, or Ag particles. Also, a positive dose response was observed for SAEC viability after Cu exposure. For A549 cells, statistically significant effects on viability were observed after exposure to Cu and Pd particles. The set-up produced a stable flow of aerosol particles with an exposure and dose expressed in terms of number, mass, and surface area. Exposure-related effects on the airway cellular models could be asserted.<h4>Graphical abstract</h4>
Project description:Particle engineering strategies remain at the forefront of aerosol research for localized treatment of lung diseases and represent an alternative for systemic drug therapy. With the hastily growing popularity and complexity of inhalation therapy, there is a rising demand for tailor-made inhalable drug particles capable of affording the most proficient delivery to the lungs and the most advantageous therapeutic outcomes. To address this formulation demand, nanoparticle agglomeration was used to develop aerosols of the asthma therapeutics, fluticasone or albuterol. In addition, a combination aerosol was formed by drying agglomerates of fluticasone nanoparticles in the presence of albuterol in solution. Powders of the single drug nanoparticle agglomerates or of the combined therapeutics possessed desirable aerodynamic properties for inhalation. Powders were efficiently aerosolized (?75% deposition determined by cascade impaction) with high fine particle fraction and rapid dissolution. Nanoparticle agglomeration offers a unique approach to obtain high performance aerosols from combinations of asthma therapeutics.
Project description:The promising applications of core-shell nanoparticles in the biological and medical field have been well investigated in recent years. One remaining challenge is the characterization of the structure of the hydrated polymer shell. Here we use small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) to investigate iron oxide core-poly(ethylene glycol) brush shell nanoparticles with extremely high polymer grafting density. It is shown that the shell density profile can be described by a scaling model that takes into account the locally very high grafting density near the core. A good fit to a constant density region followed by a star-polymer-like, monotonously decaying density profile is shown, which could help explain the unique colloidal properties of such densely grafted core-shell nanoparticles. SAXS experiments probing the thermally induced dehydration of the shell and the response to dilution confirmed that the observed features are associated with the brush and not attributed to structure factors from particle aggregates. We thereby demonstrate that the structure of monodisperse core-shell nanoparticles with dense solvated shells can be well studied with SAXS and that different density models can be distinguished from each other.
Project description:Particle size is a key determinant of biological performance of sub-micron size delivery systems. Previous studies investigating the effect of particle size have primarily focused on well-dispersed nanoparticles. However, inorganic nanoparticles are prone to aggregation in biological environments. In our studies, we examined the consequence of aggregation on superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticle-induced magnetic hyperthermia. Here we show that the extent and mechanism of hyperthermia-induced cell kill is highly dependent on the aggregation state of SPIO nanoparticles. Well-dispersed nanoparticles induced apoptosis, similar to that observed with conventional hyperthermia. Sub-micron size aggregates, on the other hand, induced temperature-dependent autophagy through generation of oxidative stress. Micron size aggregates caused rapid membrane damage, resulting in acute cell kill. Overall, this work highlights the potential for developing highly effective anticancer therapeutics through designed aggregation of nano delivery systems.