Lung deposition of charged aerosol particles – particle characterisation and experimental setup for a human volunteer study

M D Wright, M F Biddiscombe, J C Matthews, S R Underwood, D L Henshaw, O S Usmani & D E Shallcross

Electrostatic charge may cause increased particle deposition within the lung upon inhalation. This study seeks to determine whether 100 nm and 200 nm particles which carry excess electric charge, compared to ambient charge-neutralised particles, show enhanced lung deposition efficiency in healthy human volunteers. Technegas will be used to generate particles, and a charge enhancer used to increase the particle electrostatic charge to levels comparable to those observed downwind of high voltage power lines. Particle deposition will be measured by comparing number concentration and size distribution prior to inhalation and after exhalation and via nuclear medicine imaging techniques. Characterisation of the Technegas particle output is important in the design of the study, and some work is presented here. The generator shows good repeatability in terms of size distribution shape, but some variability in particle number concentrations which requires further study prior to the volunteer stage.

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