A safer formulation concept for flame-generated engineered nanomaterials

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Engineering less toxic ENMs that maintain valuable functional properties is crucial to the sustainability of the nanotech industry. Core-shell nanoparticles are particularly interesting in this regard. They exhibit the surface properties of their shells while preserving certain bulk properties of their core material. Careful selection of a biologically “inert” nanothin SiO2-shell can therefore shield otherwise toxic core materials from their surroundings. Here, four industry-relevant ENMs (CeO2, Fe2O3, Ag, ZnO) were synthesized and coated using a modified FSP-based Versatile Engineered Nanomaterial Generation System (VENGES). The SiO2 surface coating of the ENMs takes place in-situ, in a one step, dry process. Particles were characterized with respect to primary particle size, crystallinity, morphology, and electrophoretic mobility by X-Ray Diffraction, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller powder specific surface area measurements, Transmission Electron Microscopy, and Dynamic Light Scattering. The SiO2 coating efficiency of the process was evaluated by X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy and Isopropanol Chemisorption. The relative toxicity of coated vs. uncoated ENMs was evaluated using a number of cellular assays (MTT, LDH, Live/Dead) and multiple cell lines (A549 cancer alveolar epithelial cells and macrophages). We demonstrate significant differences in induced toxicity between coated and uncoated particles.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Nanotechnology 2012: Bio Sensors, Instruments, Medical, Environment and Energy (Volume 3)
Published: June 18, 2012
Pages: 323 - 326
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Energy & Sustainability
Topic: Environmental Health & Safety of Nanomaterials
ISBN: 978-1-4665-6276-9