Portable in Vitro Multi-Well Chamber for Exposing Airborne Nanomaterials at the Air Liquid Interface Using Electrostatic Deposition

Portable in Vitro Multi-Well Chamber for Exposing Airborne Nanomaterials at the Air Liquid Interface Using Electrostatic Deposition
May 3, 2017 | Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, pdfpiw.uspto.gov, 7 March 2017, Hussain, et al.

 

US Patent 9588105 B1, 7 Mar 2017. This invention relates generally to the field of particle deposition on a material. More particularly, it relates to an apparatus for the deposition of nanoparticles onto a biological material.

Continuous innovation in synthesis and characterization of NMs have led to a more advanced understanding of the relationship between nanostructure and properties, and the exploitation of properties inherent to materials at the nano-scale has resulted in rapid growth in the field of nanotechnology.

When inhaled, NMs are capable of depositing deep within the alveolar portion of the respiratory tract and may induce local inflammation and oxidative stress.

While there are advantages and drawbacks for both in vitro and in vivo NM toxicity studies, there is strong motivation to improve alternative techniques to reduce, replace, or refine the use of animals. Due to the costs and ethical issues associated with in vivo toxicity studies, it is critical to improve in vitro techniques for more rapid testing of toxicity of NMs, which include a diverse and rapidly expanding range of materials. When NMs are exposed to the lung via inhalation, they are deposited in the gas phase onto cell layers covered in a thin layer of mucus, making in vitro studies at the air-liquid interface an appropriate mechanism for investigating the inhalation toxicity of NMs.

Major challenges associated with building a system for exposing at the air-liquid interface include controlled particle generation, predictable and uniform particle deposition, and controlled cellular environment (100% humidity, 37.degree. C.).

The present invention further includes a nanoparticle exposure chamber assembly in which the integrated heater and humidifier is in contact with the media well such that the cell culture media is maintained at or near 37.degree. C., with the integrated heater and humidifier being coupled to and in fluid communication with at least one inlet passageway.

The present invention further includes a nanoparticle exposure chamber assembly comprising: a plurality of nanoparticle exposure chambers radially arranged about a central axis of the nanoparticle exposure chamber assembly, in which at least a portion of each nanoparticle exposure chamber comprises a resealable sleeve and a channel between the resealable sleeve and an exterior of the nanoparticle exposure chamber assembly, with the resealable sleeve permitting the cell culture media to be replenished or replaced without compromising the sterility of the nanoparticle exposure chamber assembly. The nanoparticle exposure chamber assembly further comprises a plurality of modular stacking plates arranged about a central axis of the nanoparticle exposure chamber assembly, with the modular stacking plates being interconnected and being configured to be independently adjusted. Each modular plate comprises a portion of the nanoparticle exposure chamber assembly.