Nanotechnology Project

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Environment, Health and Safety Research

Generation and Characterization of Ultrafine Particles

Project Information

Principal InvestigatorDoug D Evans
InstitutionNational Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Project URLView
Relevance to ImplicationsHigh
Class of NanomaterialGeneric
Impact SectorHuman Health
Broad Research Categories Exposure
NNI identifier

Funding Information

Anticipated Total Fundingn/a
Annual Fundingn/a
Funding SourceNIOSH
Funding MechanismIntramural
Funding SectorGovernment
Start Year2003
Anticipated End Year2005


There is mounting evidence that the toxicity of some aerosols may be closely associated with the number or surface-area of inhaled particles. Low-solubility ultrafine (typically smaller than 100 nm) and high specific surface-area particles are of particular concern. This project is part of a wider research program aimed at studying the toxicity of workplace-related aerosols within this category, including those associated with nanotechnology. Methods are being developed to generate and deliver well-characterized particles to exposure systems, enabling particle characteristics responsible for specific toxic responses to be investigated in a systematic manner. The research includes the development of off-line and on-line aerosol and particle characterization techniques, including methods to measure aerosol surface-area, and methods to characterize the composition and structure of nanometer-diameter particles.