Modeling in vivo interactions of engineered nanoparticles in the pulmonary alveolar lining fluid

Dwaipayan Mukherjee, Alexandra Porter, Mary Ryan, Stephan Schwander, Kian Fan Chung, Teresa Tetley, Junfeng Zhang, Panos Georgopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Increasing use of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) in consumer products may result in widespread human inhalation exposures. Due to their high surface area per unit mass, inhaled ENMs interact with multiple components of the pulmonary system, and these interactions affect their ultimate fate in the body. Modeling of ENM transport and clearance in vivo has traditionally treated tissues as well-mixed compartments, without consideration of nanoscale interaction and transformation mechanisms. ENM agglomeration, dissolution and transport, along with adsorption of biomolecules, such as surfactant lipids and proteins, cause irreversible changes to ENM morphology and surface properties. The model presented in this article quantifies ENM transformation and transport in the alveolar air to liquid interface and estimates eventual alveolar cell dosimetry. This formulation brings together established concepts from colloidal and surface science, physics, and biochemistry to provide a stochastic framework capable of capturing essential in vivo processes in the pulmonary alveolar lining layer. The model has been implemented for in vitro solutions with parameters estimated from relevant published in vitro measurements and has been extended here to in vivo systems simulating human inhalation exposures. Applications are presented for four different ENMs, and relevant kinetic rates are estimated, demonstrating an approach for improving human in vivo pulmonary dosimetry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1223-1249
Number of pages27
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 22 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


  • Adsorption
  • Agglomeration
  • Lipid vesicles
  • Monte Carlo
  • Nanoparticles
  • Surfactant
  • Surfactant proteins

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