Size-segregated particulate matter (PM) is frequently used in chemical and toxicological studies. Nevertheless, toxicological in vitro studies working with the whole particles often lack a proper evaluation of PM real size distribution and characterization of agglomeration under the experimental conditions. In this study, changes in particle size distributions during the PM sample manipulation and also semiquantitative elemental composition of single particles were evaluated. Coarse (1–10 μm), upper accumulation (0.5–1 μm), lower accumulation (0.17–0.5 μm), and ultrafine (<0.17 μm) PM fractions were collected by high volume cascade impactor in Prague city center. Particles were examined using electron microscopy and their elemental composition was determined by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Larger or smaller particles, not corresponding to the impaction cut points, were found in all fractions, as they occur in agglomerates and are impacted according to their aerodynamic diameter. Elemental composition of particles in size-segregated fractions varied significantly. Ns-soot occurred in all size fractions. Metallic nanospheres were found in accumulation fractions, but not in ultrafine fraction where ns-soot, carbonaceous particles, and inorganic salts were identified. Dynamic light scattering was used to measure particle size distribution in water and in cell culture media. PM suspension of lower accumulation fraction in water agglomerated after freezing/thawing the sample, and the agglomerates were disrupted by subsequent sonication. Ultrafine fraction did not agglomerate after freezing/thawing the sample. Both lower accumulation and ultrafine fractions were stable in cell culture media with fetal bovine serum, while high agglomeration occurred in media without fetal bovine serum as measured during 24 h.
Atmospheric Environment – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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