Oct 25, 2015

This week in Nano (Week 43 October 19th-25th)

A study entitled 'Anthropogenic Carbon Nanotubes Found in the Airways of Parisian Children' hit the headlines this week after it was published via EBioMedicine

Here are some of the headlines:

The article can be found here.  What does the paper actually report?

1. The study looked at bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) obtained from 64 asthmatic children living in Paris who underwent a  bronchoalveolar lavage treatment. During such a treatment sterile saline fluid is squirted into the lungs and then this fluid  from bronchioles and lung alveoli are removed for diagnosis. Healthy patients where not considered or this study due to ethical reasons - a bronchoaveolar lavage is invasive procedure.

2. The objective of the study was to characterise the particulate matter found in the samples (BAL, as well as dust samples and car exhaust)

3.  The samples were collected over a period from 2007-2011 and frozen until analysed (later 5 non frozen samples were also characterised).

4. The samples were unfrozen, centrifuged and the pellet was mixed with distilled water. This sample was then vortexed for 2 min, stirred for 12 hours, sonicated  and vortexed . The subsequent pellet was  re-dispersion in  purified water with sonication for 10 min. 3 μL of the resulting suspension was deposited onto the TEM grid

5. TEM pictures show fibre like structures ('aggregated PM and filament-like structures') subsequent analysis shows this to be carbonaceous in nature.

6. The authors concluded that carbon nanotubes (CNT) were present in all randomly selected samples, and the CNTs observed in the lungs of Parisian children are similar to those detected in dust and vehicle exhaust samples collected in the Parisian area. These CNTs are present in all examined samples.

Overall an interesting read.  It would be nice to see some more TEM samples from the study (perhaps as a supplement).  It would also be nice to see some comparisons of these TEM images with TEM images of other BAL, dust and car exhaust studies.

carbon nanotubes
Kolosnjaj-Tabi et al., 2015
Kolosnjaj-Tabi et al., 2015

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