Project Details


1236508MainelisThe use of nanotechnology-enabled clothing may lead to the release of nanomaterials and their agglomerates resulting in inhalatory consumer exposures. Given an ever-increasing number of consumer products incorporating engineered nanomaterials there is a growing concern regarding the release and human exposure to nanoparticles and associated adverse health effects. However, the data on the nanoparticle release from the consumer products and associated exposures are very limited. The exposure route depends on the product type and the use of many products may result in exposures via multiple routes, including inhalation. This study will focus on inhalatory exposures of one product category which has not been explored yet -- nanotechnology-enabled clothing.Intellectual merit: Airborne nanoparticles and their agglomerates released from nanotechnology-enabled clothing, and the quantification of the resultant consumer exposures and challenge to the human respiratory system is an important topic in nano environment health and safety studies. Under realistic exposure scenarios the investigators will test whether the inhalatory exposures and the resultant respiratory deposition of airborne nanoparticles due to the use of nanotechnology-enabled clothing are more pronounced compared to products that do not use nanotechnology; whether the release of nanoparticles intensifies as the products undergo 'wear and tear' over time; and what are the overall emissions of such particles. Overall, the study will provide exposure data for toxicological and epidemiological studies, and risk assessment.In a controlled test environment, by using robotic mannequins, the researchers will realistically simulate walking and running with nanotechnology-enabled clothing as well as handling of the clothing and will quantify the total emissions and potential inhalation of released nanoparticles in terms of inhaled and lung-deposited particle size, concentration, surface area,volume and mass. The size, shape, composition, density, and agglomeration of nanoparticles in the product matrix and in the airborne state will be analyzed using scanning and transmission electron microscopy, atomic emissions spectrometry and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. The deposition of the released particles in the respiratory system will be estimated by using the determined particle characteristics and established lung deposition models.Broader impacts: These will include new information about the potential personal and environmental burden due to the use of nanotechnology-enabled consumer products. Due to the ubiquitous availability of nanotechnology-enabled clothing, the study results will apply to a large segment of the population. The obtained exposure data will be used to estimate the short-term and long-term risks associated with the use of nanotechnology-enabled clothing. The data from this study will serve as a scientific basis for developing cytotoxicity and health studies that address health risks associated with the prevalence and use of nanotechnology-enabled consumer products. The project will train a graduate student in an exciting field of exposure assessment and measurement of nanoparticles. The project will also provide funding for an undergraduate student to perform research on nanoparticle exposures. The PI and co-PI will conduct outreach to the public on Rutgers Day, a University-wide open house that provides hands-on projects and demonstrations to the Rutgers' visitors, faculty and students. The project findings will be disseminated through the national and international conferences, peer-reviewed manuscripts, Rutgers Today news service, and the Rutgers University YouTube channel.
Effective start/end date9/15/128/31/15


  • National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))


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