Detection of engineered nanomaterials in drinking water, food, commercial product

Summary

Principal Investigator: Paul K Westerhoff
Abstract: Nanotechnology is rapidly resulting in the production of nanomaterials (NMs) that will be used in everything from toothpaste to pesticides, yet the research community lacks adequate techniques to measure the size and concentration of nanomaterials in even the simplest of environmental and biological samples at levels which may be relevant to human exposures. The National Nanotechnology Initiative, including NIEHS, and other organizations ranks as a top priority the need to develop methods to quantify nanomaterials in matrices including drinking water, commercial products, blood and other biological matrices. The purpose of our proposed work is two-fold: first, we aim to develop state-of-the- art exposure assessment tools for nanomaterials for the international scientific, medical and regulatory community;second, we will identify and quantify the metrology gap between what exposure levels may be potentially harmful based on published toxicological data and the method detection limits that can be achieved for non-labeled commercial nanomaterials with current technology. Inorganic and carbonaceous nanomaterials are being synthesized in a wide range of sizes, shapes and with various surface coatings or functionalities. Consequently, people may soon be exposed to thousands of different types of nanomaterials in their workplace or during other daily activities. Risk assessments from these exposures are hampered by the lack of adequate detection capabilities. While electron microscopy and other techniques can image NMs in samples, they fall short of being able to quantify the size, number concentration and mass concentration of NMs which are thought to be crucial for understanding to properly assess NM exposures and effects. We hypothesize that two basic instrumentation platforms (ion coupled plasma mass spectroscopy and liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy) can be developed in conjunction with sample pretreatment methods, involving extraction, separation and or concentration of NMs from environmental and biological samples, to quantify the size, number concentration and mass concentration of the currently most widely used inorganic NMs (Ag, TiO2, Au) and carbonaceous NMs (fullerenes and functionalized fullerenes). To support this hypothesis we will exploit techniques initially developed to quantify natural aquatic colloids (i.e., NMs) and organic pollutants. Specifically, real time single particle ICP mass spectroscopy (RTSP-MS) will be used to differentiate metal or metal oxide NMs from dissolved ionic forms of the base NM material. Carbonaceous NMs will be handled in a similar fashion as organic chemicals, by pre-treating and analyzing (LC/MS) them based upon solubility and hydrophobicity characteristics. By working with a range of widely employed NMs the methods will be immediately and widely applicable. Standard operating procedures for NM analytical techniques and extraction protocols will be developed. The investigators have been working with NMs for many years, and are familiar with purchasing, characterizing, solubilizing and handling NMs. Using robust statistical approaches, the procedures (detection limits, precision, accuracy, reproducibility, recovery rate, etc) will be validated. Once validated, the pretreatment methods and analytical techniques will be used to quantify engineered nanomaterials in drinking water, food, consumer products and biological fluids (including whole blood, blood plasma, blood serum, urine and human milk). Our team has extensive experience in the analysis of manmade pollutants in these matrices. Due to a presumably low present ambient exposure to engineered NMs, except perhaps for TiO2, we do not expect to detect these types of materials in our archived samples of biological fluids or drinking waters. After testing this hypothesis, we will fortify aliquots of pools of blood, human milk and urine, respectively, with known and increasing concentrations of diverse engineered NMs, until detection becomes possible. In addition to validating the procedures, this work will establish the present body burden in humans of NMs (or lack thereof) and will help to define what levels of these materials are required in order to achieve detection of engineered NMs with state of the art techniques. All protocols developed will be published in peer- reviewed journals and made freely available on the Internet as step-by-step procedures to enable other laboratories and researchers in the U.S. and abroad to utilize these new human exposure assessment tools. In our data analysis and interpretation, we will compare achievable method detection limits with toxic threshold information to evaluate the prospects of using these novel tools for environmental exposure assessment and for protecting human health. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This project will provide to the emerging nano environmental and health effects community well documented analytical techniques and methodologies for quantifying the size, number concentration and mass concentration of engineered nanomaterials within matrices (water, food, biological fluids). This information is critical to assessing nanomaterial dosage and exposure during in vivo or in vitro health effects studies. The research enables such studies to be conducted at sub lethal exposures, which have largely been complicated in the past due to inadequate analytical methods.
Funding Period: ----------------2009 - ---------------2011-
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. pmc Evaluation of extraction methods for quantification of aqueous fullerenes in urine
    Troy M Benn
    School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
    Anal Bioanal Chem 399:1631-9. 2011
  2. pmc Characterization and liquid chromatography-MS/MS based quantification of hydroxylated fullerenes
    Tzu Chiao Chao
    School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287, United States
    Anal Chem 83:1777-83. 2011
  3. pmc Detection of fullerenes (C60 and C70) in commercial cosmetics
    Troy M Benn
    School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287 5306, USA
    Environ Pollut 159:1334-42. 2011
  4. pmc Beyond nC60: strategies for identification of transformation products of fullerene oxidation in aquatic and biological samples
    Benny F G Pycke
    Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology, The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, Tempe, 85287, USA
    Anal Bioanal Chem 404:2583-95. 2012
  5. pmc Extraction and quantification of carbon nanotubes in biological matrices with application to rat lung tissue
    Kyle Doudrick
    School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287 5306, United States
    ACS Nano 7:8849-56. 2013

Detail Information

Publications6

  1. pmc Evaluation of extraction methods for quantification of aqueous fullerenes in urine
    Troy M Benn
    School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
    Anal Bioanal Chem 399:1631-9. 2011
    ..g., blood, sweat, amniotic fluid) in toxicological studies, enabling a better understanding of the behavior of fullerenes in human and animal systems and facilitating a more comprehensive risk evaluation of fullerenes...
  2. pmc Characterization and liquid chromatography-MS/MS based quantification of hydroxylated fullerenes
    Tzu Chiao Chao
    School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287, United States
    Anal Chem 83:1777-83. 2011
    ....
  3. pmc Detection of fullerenes (C60 and C70) in commercial cosmetics
    Troy M Benn
    School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287 5306, USA
    Environ Pollut 159:1334-42. 2011
    ..5 g) may contain up to 0.6 μg of C60, demonstrating a pathway for human exposure. Steady-state modeling of fullerene adsorption to biosolids is used to discuss potential environmental releases from wastewater treatment systems...
  4. pmc Beyond nC60: strategies for identification of transformation products of fullerene oxidation in aquatic and biological samples
    Benny F G Pycke
    Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology, The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, Tempe, 85287, USA
    Anal Bioanal Chem 404:2583-95. 2012
    ..e., their corresponding epoxides and polyhydroxylated derivatives) in the environment and in biological specimens. We present possible strategies for detection and quantification of parent nanomaterials and their various derivatives...
  5. pmc Extraction and quantification of carbon nanotubes in biological matrices with application to rat lung tissue
    Kyle Doudrick
    School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287 5306, United States
    ACS Nano 7:8849-56. 2013
    ..Due to its high yield and applicability to low organ burdens of nanomaterials, this extraction method is particularly well suited for in vivo studies to quantify clearance rates and retained CNTs in lungs and other organs. ..