Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Unregulated nanoparticles from diesel engines inhibit lungs

Abstract:
Diesel engines emit countless carbon nanoparticles into the air, slipping through government regulation and vehicle filters. A new University of Michigan simulation shows that these nanoparticles can get trapped in the lungs and inhibit the function of a fluid that facilitates breathing.

Unregulated nanoparticles from diesel engines inhibit lungs

ANN ARBOR, MI | Posted on August 20th, 2008

Lung surfactant is a fluid containing protein and lipid molecules. It reduces surface tension in the lungs, prevents them from collapsing and helps transport foreign particles that will ultimately be expelled from the lungs.

Inhaled carbon nanoparticles, however, appear to behave differently than most foreign particles. Computer simulations indicated that they wouldn't be expelled, but would become trapped in the surfactant, entangled with fatty lipid molecules that wrapped their tails around the nanoparticles and into their central cavities.

"The presence of the nanoparticle can hinder the function of lung surfactant by affecting the interaction between the lipids and peptides," said Angela Violi, assistant professor in the U-M College of Engineering. A peptide is a piece of a protein. Violi was scheduled to present her findings during her invited talk at the American Chemical Society meeting Aug. 20.

This is believed to be the first time researchers have demonstrated how these nanoparticles can get caught in the lungs and affect the behavior of surfactant. Other studies have shown that buildup of nanoparticles in the lungs can lead to inflammation, blood clotting and changes in breathing and heart rates.

"There is mounting evidence that very small particles have a greater negative impact on health than larger particles," Violi said. "Nanoparticles emitted by diesel engines and other combustion sources are a health concern because of both their size and the carcinogens with which they are associated. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that there is currently no effective regulatory control of these nanoparticles."

Current U.S. and European diesel emissions regulations address particle sizes of 2.5 microns or larger. (A micron is one-thousandth of a millimeter.) That's still up to three orders of magnitude larger than the nanoparticles Violi studies. Carbon nanoparticles make up only 0.1 to 1.5 percent of the total mass of particles diesel engines emit, but in terms of the number of particles, nanos compose between 35 percent and 97 percent of the emissions, depending on the traffic.

The computer model Violi created to run this simulation can also predict how various combustible materials will burn, what nanoparticles will be created, how those particles will be shaped and how they could affect the lungs. This tool could be useful in predicting biofuel emissions, Violi says.

"It could help us reach the goal of engineering biofuel molecules to reduce emissions," Violi said. It's conceivable that engineers could genetically modify plants to produce cleaner burning fuels, she said. Violi will also discuss these applications in her American Chemical Society talk.

Violi is an assistant professor in the departments of Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering.

The presentation at the Chemical Society's meeting in Philadelphia is called "Lipid membrane uptake of carbonaceous nanoparticles from combustion sources." A related paper on this research titled "Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study of a Pulmonary Surfactant Film Interacting with a Carbonaceous Nanoparticle" will be published in the Oct.15 issue of Biophysical Journal.

For more information on Violi, visit: www-personal.umich.edu/~avioli/
American Chemical Society: www.acs.org

####

About University of Michigan
The University of Michigan College of Engineering is ranked among the top engineering schools in the country. At more than $130 million annually, its engineering research budget is one of largest of any public university. Michigan Engineering is home to 11 academic departments and a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center. The college plays a leading role in the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute and hosts the world class Lurie Nanofabrication Facility.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Nicole Casal Moore
(734) 647-1838 or (734) 647-7087

Copyright © University of Michigan

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Traffic jam in empty space: New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum January 22nd, 2017

A big nano boost for solar cells: Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies January 21st, 2017

Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Discoveries

Traffic jam in empty space: New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum January 22nd, 2017

A big nano boost for solar cells: Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies January 21st, 2017

Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Announcements

Traffic jam in empty space: New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum January 22nd, 2017

A big nano boost for solar cells: Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies January 21st, 2017

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Environment

Investigating the impact of natural and manmade nanomaterials on living things: Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology develops tools to assess current and future risk January 9th, 2017

PCATDES Starts Field Testing of Photocatalytic Reactors in South East Asia December 28th, 2016

Advance in intense pulsed light sintering opens door to improved electronics manufacturing December 23rd, 2016

Carbon dots dash toward 'green' recycling role: Rice scientists, colleagues use doped graphene quantum dots to reduce carbon dioxide to fuel December 18th, 2016

Automotive/Transportation

Nanoscale view of energy storage January 16th, 2017

Illinois team advances GaN-on-Silicon for scalable high electron mobility transistors January 10th, 2017

Going green with nanotechnology December 21st, 2016

Scientists boost catalytic activity for key chemical reaction in fuel cells: New platinum-based catalysts with tensile surface strain could improve fuel cell efficiency December 19th, 2016

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Nanoparticle exposure can awaken dormant viruses in the lungs January 17th, 2017

Investigating the impact of natural and manmade nanomaterials on living things: Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology develops tools to assess current and future risk January 9th, 2017

First time physicists observed and quantified tiny nanoparticle crossing lipid membrane November 7th, 2016

SUN shares its latest achievements during the 3rd Annual Project Meeting November 1st, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project