Nanotechnology Project

Get the findNano iPhone application


Environment, Health and Safety Research

Development of Alternative In Vitro Methods to Assess Pulmonary Toxicity of Inhaled Fine and Nano-sized Particles

Project Information

Principal InvestigatorDavid B Warheit
InstitutionDuPont Haskell Laboratory for Health and Environmental Sciences
Project URLView
Relevance to ImplicationsHigh
Class of NanomaterialEngineered Nanomaterials
Impact SectorHuman Health
Broad Research Categories Hazard
NNI identifier

Funding Information

Anticipated Total Fundingn/a
Annual Fundingn/a
Funding SourceDuPont
Funding MechanismIntramural
Funding SectorIndustry
Start Year
Anticipated End Year


The successful development of in vitro assays with cultured pulmonary cells and dusts is considered to be useful as a predictive screen during the early phases of product development and inhalation toxicity testing. The potential advantages of these tests result from the fact that they are simpler, faster, and less expensive than their in vivo counterparts. Moreover, successful development of this in vitro system will result in the reduction of animal use for screening studies of potential pulmonary toxicants. Although implementation of an in vitro lung toxicity screening system would represent a significant advancement, the accuracy of results from in vitro screening studies with both particles and fibers has been questioned. Thus, we are attempting to devise a systematic method for assessing the efficacy of in vitro studies and compare the results to data obtained from in vivo pulmonary bioassay studies. Accordingly, we are evaluating two pulmonary cell types, i.e. rat lung epithelial cells (L2) cells and rat alveolar macrophages (AMs) both separately as well as in a co-culture system for implementation in vitro studies with particulates and to correlate the results of in vitro studies with data generated from pulmonary bioassay studies in rats using the same fine-sized and nano-sized particle-types.