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Enhanced deposition by electrostatic field-assistance aggravating diesel exhaust aerosol toxicity for human lung cells

Enhanced deposition by electrostatic field-assistance aggravating diesel exhaust aerosol toxicity for human lung cells
Author:

L.C. Stoehr, P. Madl, M.S.P. Boyles, R. Zauner, M. Wimmer, H. Wiegand, A. Andosch, G. Kasper, M. Pesch, U. Lütz-Meindl, M. Himly, A. Duschl

Source:

Environmental Science and Technology, 2015, 49, 8721-8730

Air pollution is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, but conventional air quality monitoring gives no information about biological consequences. Exposing human lung cells at the air−liquid interface (ALI) to ambient aerosol could help identify acute biological responses. This study investigated electrode-assisted deposition of diesel exhaust aerosol (DEA) on human lung epithelial cells (A549) in a prototype exposure chamber. A549 cells were exposed to DEA at the ALI and under submerged conditions in different electrostatic fields (EFs) and were assessed for cell viability, membrane integrity, and IL-8 secretion. Qualitative differences of the DEA and its deposition under different EFs were characterized using scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) measurements, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS). Upon exposure to DEA only, cell viability decreased and membrane impairment increased for cells at the ALI; submerged cells were unaffected. These responses were enhanced upon application of an EF, as was DEA deposition. No adverse effects were observed for filtered DEA or air only, confirming particle-induced responses. The prototype exposure chamber proved suitable for testing DEA-induced biological responses of cells at the ALI using electrode-assisted deposition and may be useful for analysis of other air pollutants.