An electrical conductivity based method of determining the particle deposition rate in air-liquid interface devices
H. Wiegand, J. Meyer, G. Kasper
Toxicology in Vitro, 2015, 29 (5), 1100-1106
A new in-situ method of determining the particle deposition rate onto cell cultures inside air-liquid interface devices is described. It is based on depositing a surrogate aerosol of salt particles onto the water filled wells of a culture plate while measuring the resulting change in electrical conductivity of the solution in situ, in order to derive the accumulated particle mass. For evaluation purposes, the wells of a six-well cell culture plate were equipped with custom designed electrodes and calibrated with a series of commercially available standard solutions. After the necessary corrections prescribed by theory, the calibration resulted in an accuracy and comparability between cells of ±3% in terms of measured conductivity. The method was then applied to a specific ALI device consisting essentially of the calibrated six-well culture plate inside an electrostatic cross-flow precipitator, and tested with submicron NaCl aerosol of defined size distribution produced by nebulization of a salt solution. 2 h of particle accumulation were sufficient to accumulate between 30 and 10 µg of salt per well, depending on the location in the precipitator. Resulting deposition rates varied narrowly between the wells by about 2 ng min-1 cm-2. Factors affecting the overall accuracy and reproducibility are discussed.