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New gold standard for risk assessment

Scientists have created radiolabelled gold nanoparticles for use in inhalation studies to investigate how nanoparticles interact with biological systems.

There is a widely acknowledged need for well-characterised, stable dispersions of nanoparticles for risk assessment. The scientists, led by Winfried MÖller at the German Research Centre for Environmental Health in Munich, created a radioisotope of gold with a half-life of 186 days, suitable for long-term biokinetic studies. To do this, they used a cyclotron at the Joint Research Centre’s Institute for Health and Consumer Protection in Ispra (Italy) to irradiate gold electrodes with high energy protons.

Concentrated aerosols of the radiolabelled gold nanoparticles proved to be stable over several hours, making them suitable for risk assessment studies. After collection on filters, the nanoparticles could be resuspended and used for instillation or ingestion studies, suggest the researchers.

The work is published in the Journal of Nanoparticle Research.

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