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Bihari, Peter; Vippola, Minnamari; Schultes, Stephan; Praetner, Marc; Khandoga, Alexander G.; Reichel, Christoph A.; Coester, Conrad; Tuomi, Timo; Rehberg, Markus; Krombach, Fritz (2008): Optimized dispersion of nanoparticles for biological in vitro and in vivo studies. In: Particle and Fibre Toxicology 5:14


Background: The aim of this study was to establish and validate a practical method to disperse nanoparticles in physiological solutions for biological in vitro and in vivo studies. Results: TiO(2) (rutile) dispersions were prepared in distilled water, PBS, or RPMI 1640 cell culture medium. Different ultrasound energies, various dispersion stabilizers (human, bovine, and mouse serum albumin, Tween 80, and mouse serum), various concentrations of stabilizers, and different sequences of preparation steps were applied. The size distribution of dispersed nanoparticles was analyzed by dynamic light scattering and zeta potential was measured using phase analysis light scattering. Nanoparticle size was also verified by transmission electron microscopy. A specific ultrasound energy of 4.2 x 10(5) kJ/m(3) was sufficient to disaggregate TiO(2) (rutile) nanoparticles, whereas higher energy input did not further improve size reduction. The optimal sequence was first to sonicate the nanoparticles in water, then to add dispersion stabilizers, and finally to add buffered salt solution to the dispersion. The formation of coarse TiO(2) (rutile) agglomerates in PBS or RPMI was prevented by addition of 1.5 mg/ml of human, bovine or mouse serum albumin, or mouse serum. The required concentration of albumin to stabilize the nanoparticle dispersion depended on the concentration of the nanoparticles in the dispersion. TiO(2) (rutile) particle dispersions at a concentration lower than 0.2 mg/ml could be stabilized by the addition of 1.5 mg/ml albumin. TiO(2) (rutile) particle dispersions prepared by this method were stable for up to at least 1 week. This method was suitable for preparing dispersions without coarse agglomerates (average diameter < 290 nm) from nanosized TiO(2) (rutile), ZnO, Ag, SiO(x), SWNT, MWNT, and diesel SRM2975 particulate matter. Conclusion: The optimized dispersion method presented here appears to be effective and practicable for preparing dispersions of nanoparticles in physiological solutions without creating coarse agglomerates.