Saf Health Work.  2011 Sep;2(3):282-289.

Effect of Nano-sized Carbon Black Particles on Lung and Circulatory System by Inhalation Exposure in Rats

  • 1Occupatinal Safety and Health Research Institute, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 2College of Pharmacy, Dongguk University, Goyang, Korea.


OBJECTIVES: We sought to establish a novel method to generate nano-sized carbon black particles (nano-CBPs) with an average size smaller than 100 nm for examining the inhalation exposure risks of experimental rats. We also tested the effect of nano-CBPs on the pulmonary and circulatory systems.
We used chemical vapor deposition (CVD) without the addition of any additives to generate nano-CBPs with a particle size (electrical mobility diameter) of less than 100nm to examine the effects of inhalation exposure. Nano-CBPs were applied to a nose-only inhalation chamber system for studying the inhalation toxicity in rats. The effect on the lungs and circulatory system was determined according to the degree of inflammation as quantified by bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). The functional alteration of the hemostatic and vasomotor activities was measured by plasma coagulation, platelet activity, contraction and relaxation of blood vessels.
Nano-CBPs were generated in the range of 83.3-87.9 nm. Rats were exposed for 4 hour/day, 5 days/week for 4 weeks to 4.2 x 10(6), 6.2 x 10(5), and 1.3 x 10(5) particles/cm3. Exposure of nano-CBPs by inhalation resulted in minimal pulmonary inflammation and did not appear to damage the lung tissue. In addition, there was no significant effect on blood functions, such as plasma coagulation and platelet aggregation, or on vasomotor function.
We successfully generated nano-CBPs in the range of 83.3-87.9 nm at a maximum concentration of 4.2 x 10(6) particles/cm3 in a nose-only inhalation chamber system. This reliable method can be useful to investigate the biological and toxicological effects of inhalation exposure to nano-CBPs on experimental rats.


Nano-sized particle; Carbon black; Nose-only inhalation chamber; Plasma coagulation; Platelet
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