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1.  Micro-Flow Imaging: Flow Microscopy Applied to Sub-visible Particulate Analysis in Protein Formulations 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(3):455-464.
ABSTRACT
The need to monitor, measure, and control sub-visible proteinaceous particulates in biopharmaceutical formulations has been emphasized in recent publications and commentaries. Some of these particulates can be highly transparent, fragile, and unstable. In addition, for much of the size range of concern, no practical measurement method with adequate sensitivity and repeatability has been available. A complication in measuring protein particulates in many formulations is the simultaneous presence of other particle types such as silicone micro-droplets, air bubbles, and extrinsic contaminants. The need has therefore been identified for new analytical methods which can accurately measure and characterize sub-visible particulates in formulations. Micro-flow imaging has been shown to provide high sensitivity in detecting and imaging transparent protein particles and a unique capability to independently analyze such populations even when other particle types are present.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9205-1
PMCID: PMC2895433  PMID: 20517661
light obscuration; micro-flow imaging; particle sizing; protein aggregation; protein formulation
2.  Flow Cytometry: A Promising Technique for the Study of Silicone Oil-Induced Particulate Formation in Protein Formulations 
Analytical biochemistry  2010;410(2):191-199.
Subvisible particles in formulations intended for parenteral administration are of concern in the biopharmaceutical industry. However, monitoring and control of subvisible particulates can be complicated by formulation components, such as the silicone oil used for the lubrication of prefilled syringes, and it is difficult to differentiate microdroplets of silicone oil from particles formed by aggregated protein. In this study, we demonstrate the ability of flow cytometry to resolve mixtures comprising subvisible bovine serum albumin (BSA) aggregate particles and silicone oil emulsion droplets with adsorbed BSA. Flow cytometry was also utilized to investigate the effects of silicone oil emulsions on the stability BSA, lysozyme, abatacept or trastuzumab formulations containing surfactant, sodium chloride or sucrose. To aid in particle characterization, the fluorescence detection capabilities of Flow cytometry were exploited by staining silicone oil with BODIPY® 493/503 and model proteins with Alexa Fluor® 647. Flow cytometric analyses revealed that silicone oil emulsions induced the loss of soluble protein via protein adsorption onto the silicone oil droplet surface. Addition of surfactant prevented protein from adsorbing onto the surface of silicone oil droplets. There was minimal formation of homogeneous protein aggregates due to exposure to silicone oil droplets, although oil droplets with surface-adsorbed trastuzumab exhibited flocculation. The results of this study demonstrate the utility of flow cytometry as an analytical tool for monitoring the effects of subvisible silicone oil droplets on the stability of protein formulations.
doi:10.1016/j.ab.2010.12.008
PMCID: PMC3040987  PMID: 21146492
protein aggregation; adsorption; silicone oil; formulation; fluorescence; flow cytometry
3.  Protein Particulate Detection Issues in Biotherapeutics Development—Current Status 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2012;13(2):732-746.
Formation of aggregates and particulates in biopharmaceutical formulation continues to be one of the major quality concerns in biotherapeutics development. The presence of large quantities of aggregates is believed to be one of the causes of unwanted immunogenic responses. Protein particulates can form in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Therefore, a comprehensive characterization of particulates in biologics formulation continues to be challenging. The quantity of small size aggregates (e.g., dimer) in a stable biologics formulation is well controlled using precision analytical techniques (e.g., high-performance liquid chromatography). Particulate in clinical and commercial formulations is monitored using visual inspection and subvisible particulate counting assays. While visual inspection (by human eye or automated systems) is intended to detect particulates (intrinsic and extrinsic) of ~100 μm or larger, the subvisible counting methods cover smaller size ranges down to 10 μm. It is well recognized that research of particulates in the submicron (<1 μm) and low-micron (1–10 μm) ranges may provide important clues to understand the mechanism of particulate formation. The recent years have seen a significant increase in the development of newer technologies for more comprehensive characterization of particulates. This is attributed to increased awareness in this field of research over the past 5 years, stimulated by scholarly articles, commentaries, and robust discussions in various forums. This article provides an overview of emerging detection technologies that provide complementary characterization data encompassing a wider size range of particulates. It also discusses their advantages and limitations in the context of applications in biotherapeutics development.
doi:10.1208/s12249-012-9793-4
PMCID: PMC3364383  PMID: 22566174
biotherapeutics; formulation development; laser diffraction; particulate matter; protein aggregation
4.  Toxic evaluation of organic extracts from airborne particulate matter in Puerto Rico. 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2000;108(7):635-640.
In recent years, several hypotheses have emerged to explain the toxicologic activity of particulate matter. Organic compounds, ultrafine particles, biologic components, and transition metals are some of the constituents that reportedly exert some type of adverse effect on human health. A considerable fraction of the urban particulate matter consists of carbon compounds, which originate mostly from anthropogenic sources. The toxicity of organic fractions from particulate matter have been mainly evaluated by considering their mutagenic activity. This research expands on the toxicologic profile of organic compounds adsorbed to particulate matter, specifically in Puerto Rico, by using the cytotoxic neutral red bioassay (NRB). The NRB uses normal human epidermal keratinocytes or other types of cells to measure the effect on cell viability when exposed to organic compounds associated to the particles in the air. We validated the NRB for particulate matter by using a standard reference material (SRM 1649). We used the NRB to determine toxicologic differences of extracts between an urban industrialized site with anthropogenic activity versus a coastal region with less human activity. The cytotoxicity associated with organic compounds in particulate matter collected at the urban industrialized site was detected in both the particulate matter (3/4) 10 microm in aerodynamic diameter (PM(10)) and particulate matter (3/4) 100 microm in aerodynamic diameter (PM(100)). Greater toxic effects were observed in PM(10) extracts than in PM(100) extracts, but PM(10) toxic effects were not significantly different from those in PM(100). The extracts from the industrialized site were more cytotoxic than the extracts from coastal reference site, although in the summer, extracts from both sites were significantly cytotoxic to normal human epidermal keratinocytes. In addition, the nonpolar extracts of both PM(10) and PM(100) exerted the greatest cytotoxicity, followed by the polar, and, finally, the moderately polar extract. This study demonstrates that extracts from the Guaynabo industrialized site were more toxic than similar extracts obtained from a reference coastal site in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
Images
PMCID: PMC1638202  PMID: 10903617
5.  Issues and Challenges of Subvisible and Submicron Particulate Analysis in Protein Solutions 
The AAPS Journal  2012;14(2):236-243.
The analysis of particulates has been a longstanding challenge in biopharmaceutical drug product development and quality control because the active constituents themselves may form particulate matter as a degradation product that may be difficult to quantify. These analytical challenges were met with success as long as the definition of particulate matter remained well within the capabilities of the instruments and methods used to measure it. The current testing as per USP <788> for parenterals at ≤100 mL stipulates that the sample “passes” the test if the average number of particles present does not exceed 6,000 per container at ≥10 μm and does not exceed 600 per container at ≥25 μm. The new challenge, posed by regulatory direction and academic research, is to count and to characterize subvisible particulates that are ≤10 μm with the goal of providing higher resolution information about the particulate levels and potential consequences of this product quality attribute in vivo. The present discussion focuses on two parallel efforts: (a) to develop a model system for protein subvisible particulates in samples with high protein concentrations and (b) to evaluate the capabilities and limitations of different technologies available (at the time these studies were conducted) for subvisible and submicron particle (<1 μm in diameter) sizing and counting. Our findings illustrate the importance of using appropriate instrumentation that is adapted to the characteristics of the samples to be analyzed. Any sample manipulation to meet the capabilities and to accommodate the limitations of the analytical technique should be carefully evaluated.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1208/s12248-012-9335-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1208/s12248-012-9335-8
PMCID: PMC3326173  PMID: 22391789
light-scattering methods for particle characterization; particle analysis in high-concentration protein solutions; particle formation; particle size and distribution analysis; submicron particle characterization; subvisible particle characterization
6.  Characterization of Particles in Protein Solutions: Reaching the Limits of Current Technologies 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(4):708-715.
Recent publications have emphasized the lack of characterization methods available for protein particles in a size range comprised between 0.1 and 10 μm and the potential risk of immunogenicity associated with such particles. In the present paper, we have investigated the performance of light obscuration, flow microscopy, and Coulter counter instruments for particle counting and sizing in protein formulations. We focused on particles 2–10 μm in diameter and studied the effect of silicon oil droplets originating from the barrel of pre-filled syringes, as well as the effect of high protein concentrations (up to 150 mg/ml) on the accuracy of particle characterization. Silicon oil was demonstrated to contribute significantly to the particle counts observed in pre-filled syringes. Inconsistent results were observed between different protein concentrations in the range 7.5–150 mg/ml for particles <10 μm studied by optical techniques (light obscuration and flow microscopy). However, the Coulter counter measurements were consistent across the same studied concentration range but required sufficient solution conductivity from the formulation buffer or excipients. Our results show that currently available technologies, while allowing comparisons between samples of a given protein at a fixed concentration, may be unable to measure particle numbers accurately in a variety of protein formulations, e.g., at high concentration in sugar-based formulations.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9233-x
PMCID: PMC2977008  PMID: 20953747
biopharmaceuticals; protein; sub-visible particles
7.  Characterization of Particles in Protein Solutions: Reaching the Limits of Current Technologies 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(4):708-715.
Recent publications have emphasized the lack of characterization methods available for protein particles in a size range comprised between 0.1 and 10 μm and the potential risk of immunogenicity associated with such particles. In the present paper, we have investigated the performance of light obscuration, flow microscopy, and Coulter counter instruments for particle counting and sizing in protein formulations. We focused on particles 2–10 μm in diameter and studied the effect of silicon oil droplets originating from the barrel of pre-filled syringes, as well as the effect of high protein concentrations (up to 150 mg/ml) on the accuracy of particle characterization. Silicon oil was demonstrated to contribute significantly to the particle counts observed in pre-filled syringes. Inconsistent results were observed between different protein concentrations in the range 7.5–150 mg/ml for particles <10 μm studied by optical techniques (light obscuration and flow microscopy). However, the Coulter counter measurements were consistent across the same studied concentration range but required sufficient solution conductivity from the formulation buffer or excipients. Our results show that currently available technologies, while allowing comparisons between samples of a given protein at a fixed concentration, may be unable to measure particle numbers accurately in a variety of protein formulations, e.g., at high concentration in sugar-based formulations.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9233-x
PMCID: PMC2977008  PMID: 20953747
biopharmaceuticals; protein; sub-visible particles
8.  Development of a pH-Responsive Particulate Drug Delivery Vehicle for Localized Biologic Therapy in Inflammatory Bowel Disease 
The treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) recently has been revolutionized by the introduction of protein-based biologic therapies. However, biologic therapy is complicated by the requirement for administration with a needle, systemic side effects, and high cost. Particulate drug delivery systems have been shown to deliver drugs locally to the intestinal mucosa via oral administration. However, these systems have been largely unexplored for the delivery of biologics due to harsh particle fabrication conditions and the tendency of many particulate formulations to dissolve in the acidic upper GI tract. We have, therefore, fabricated an inexpensive and non-toxic novel microparticle capable of encapsulating proteins. We establish that the particle retains its contents at acidic pH and releases them at neutral pH. We also demonstrate particulate encapsulation of interleukin-10 (IL-10), a protein relevant to the treatment of IBD, at an encapsulation efficiency of 14.3 percent. Such a vehicle is promising for its oral route of administration and potential to decrease side effects and increase potency of biologics.
PMCID: PMC3178859  PMID: 21966047
9.  Aggregation of Human Recombinant Monoclonal Antibodies Influences the Capacity of Dendritic Cells to Stimulate Adaptive T-Cell Responses In Vitro 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86322.
Subvisible proteinaceous particles which are present in all therapeutic protein formulations are in the focus of intense discussions between health authorities, academics and biopharmaceutical companies in the context of concerns that such particles could promote unwanted immunogenicity via anti-drug antibody formation. In order to provide further understanding of the subject, this study closely examines the specific biological effects proteinaceous particles may exert on dendritic cells (DCs) as the most efficient antigen-presenting cell population crucial for the initiation of the adaptive immune response. Two different model IgG antibodies were subjected to three different types of exaggerated physical stress to generate subvisible particles in far greater concentrations than the ones typical for the currently marketed biotherapeutical antibodies. The aggregated samples were used in in vitro biological assays in order to interrogate the early DC-driven events that initiate CD4 T-cell dependent humoral adaptive immune responses – peptide presentation capacity and co-stimulatory activity of DCs. Most importantly, antigen presentation was addressed with a unique approach called MHC-associated Peptide Proteomics (MAPPs), which allows for identifying the sequences of HLA-DR associated peptides directly from human dendritic cells.
The experiments demonstrated that highly aggregated solutions of two model mAbs generated under controlled conditions can induce activation of human monocyte-derived DCs as indicated by upregulation of typical maturation markers including co-stimulatory molecules necessary for CD4 T-cell activation. Additional data suggest that highly aggregated proteins could induce in vitro T-cell responses. Intriguingly, strong aggregation-mediated changes in the pattern and quantity of antigen-derived HLA-DR associated peptides presented on DCs were observed, indicating a change in protein processing and presentation. Increasing the amounts of subvisible proteinaceous particles correlated very well with the pronounced increase in the peptide number and clusters presented in the context of class II HLA-DR molecules, suggesting a major involvement of a mass-action mechanism of altering the presentation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086322
PMCID: PMC3897673  PMID: 24466023
10.  Metals in Particulate Pollutants Affect Peak Expiratory Flow of Schoolchildren 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2006;115(3):430-434.
Background
The contribution of the metal components of particulate pollutants to acute respiratory effects has not been adequately evaluated. Moreover, little is known about the effects of genetic polymorphisms of xenobiotic metabolism on pulmonary function.
Objectives
This study was conducted to assess lung function decrement associated with metal components in particulate pollutants and genetic polymorphisms of glutathione S-transferase M1 and T1.
Methods
We studied 43 schoolchildren who were in the 3rd to 6th grades. Each student measured peak expiratory flow rate three times a day for 42 days. Particulate air concentrations were monitored every day, and the concentrations of iron, manganese, lead, zinc, and aluminum in the particles were measured. Glutathione S-transferase M1 and T1 genetic polymorphisms were determined using DNA extracted from participant buccal washings. We used a mixed linear regression model to estimate the association between peak expiratory flow rate and particulate air pollutants.
Results
We found significant reduction in the peak expiratory flow rate after the children’s exposure to particulate pollutants. The effect was shown most significantly 1 day after exposure to the ambient particles. Manganese and lead in the particles also reduced the peak expiratory flow rate. Genetic polymorphisms of glutathione S-transferase M1 and T1 did not significantly affect peak expiratory flow rate.
Conclusions
This study demonstrated that particulate pollutants and metals such as manganese and lead in the particles are associated with a decrement of peak expiratory flow rate. These effects were robust even with consideration of genetic polymorphisms of glutathione S-transferase.
doi:10.1289/ehp.9531
PMCID: PMC1849935  PMID: 17431494
air pollution; genetic polymorphism; lung function; metals; particles
11.  Influence of the Vehicle on the Penetration of Particles into Hair Follicles 
Pharmaceutics  2011;3(2):307-314.
Recently, it has been demonstrated that particulate substances penetrate preferentially into the hair follicles and that the penetration depth depends on the particle size. In the present study, the influence of the vehicle of the particulate substances on the penetration depth was investigated. Four different formulations (ethanolic suspension, aqueous suspension, ethanolic gel and aqueous gel) containing peptide-loaded particles of 1 μm in diameter were prepared and applied on porcine ear skin. After penetration, punch biopsies were taken and the penetration depths of the particles were investigated by laser scanning microscopy. The deepest penetration was achieved with the gel formulations demonstrating an influence of the vehicle on the penetration depth of particulate substances.
doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics3020307
PMCID: PMC3864236  PMID: 24310497
hair follicle; penetration; particle; vehicle; formulation
12.  Skeletal muscle protein tyrosine phosphatase activity and tyrosine phosphatase 1B protein content are associated with insulin action and resistance. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1994;93(3):1156-1162.
Particulate and cytosolic protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTPase) activity was measured in skeletal muscle from 15 insulin-sensitive subjects and 5 insulin-resistant nondiabetic subjects, as well as 18 subjects with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Approximately 90% of total PTPase activity resided in the particulate fraction. In comparison with lean nondiabetic subjects, particulate PTPase activity was reduced 21% (P < 0.05) and 22% (P < 0.005) in obese nondiabetic and NIDDM subjects, respectively. PTPase1B protein levels were likewise decreased by 38% in NIDDM subjects (P < 0.05). During hyperinsulinemic glucose clamps, glucose disposal rates (GDR) increased approximately sixfold in lean control and twofold in NIDDM subjects, while particulate PTPase activity did not change. However, a strong positive correlation (r = 0.64, P < 0.001) existed between particulate PTPase activity and insulin-stimulated GDR. In five obese NIDDM subjects, weight loss of approximately 10% body wt resulted in a significant and corresponding increase in both particulate PTPase activity and insulin-stimulated GDR. These findings indicate that skeletal muscle particulate PTPase activity and PTPase1B protein content reflect in vivo insulin sensitivity and are reduced in insulin resistant states. We conclude that skeletal muscle PTPase activity is involved in the chronic, but not acute regulation of insulin action, and that the decreased enzyme activity may have a role in the insulin resistance of obesity and NIDDM.
Images
PMCID: PMC294066  PMID: 8132755
13.  Number concentration and size of particles in urban air: effects on spirometric lung function in adult asthmatic subjects. 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2001;109(4):319-323.
Daily variations in ambient particulate air pollution are associated with variations in respiratory lung function. It has been suggested that the effects of particulate matter may be due to particles in the ultrafine (0.01-0.1 microm) size range. Because previous studies on ultrafine particles only used self-monitored peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), we assessed the associations between particle mass and number concentrations in several size ranges measured at a central site and measured (biweekly) spirometric lung function among a group of 54 adult asthmatics (n = 495 measurements). We also compared results to daily morning, afternoon, and evening PEFR measurements done at home (n = 7,672-8,110 measurements). The median (maximum) 24 hr number concentrations were 14,500/cm(3) (46,500/cm(3)) ultrafine particles and 800/cm(3) (2,800/cm(3)) accumulation mode (0.1-1 microm) particles. The median (maximum) mass concentration of PM(2.5) (particulate matter < 2.5 microm) and PM(10) (particulate matter < 10 microm in aerodynamic diameter) were 8.4 microg/m(3) (38.3 microg/m(3)) and 13.5 microg/m(3) (73.7 microg/m(3)), respectively. The number of accumulation mode particles was consistently inversely associated with PEFR in spirometry. Inverse, but nonsignificant, associations were observed with ultrafine particles, and no associations were observed with large particles (PM(10)). Compared to the effect estimates for self-monitored PEFR, the effect estimates for spirometric PEFR tended to be larger. The standard errors were also larger, probably due to the lower number of spirometric measurements. The present results support the need to monitor the particle number and size distributions in urban air in addition to mass.
PMCID: PMC1240270  PMID: 11335178
14.  3D imaging and quantitative analysis of small solubilized membrane proteins and their complexes by transmission electron microscopy 
Microscopy  2013;62(1):95-107.
Inherently unstable, detergent-solubilized membrane protein complexes can often not be crystallized. For complexes that have a mass of >300 kDa, cryo-electron microscopy (EM) allows their three-dimensional (3D) structure to be assessed to a resolution that makes secondary structure elements visible in the best case. However, many interesting complexes exist whose mass is below 300 kDa and thus need alternative approaches. Two methods are reviewed: (i) Mass measurement in a scanning transmission electron microscope, which has provided important information on the stoichiometry of membrane protein complexes. This technique is applicable to particulate, filamentous and sheet-like structures. (ii) 3D-EM of negatively stained samples, which determines the molecular envelope of small membrane protein complexes. Staining and dehydration artifacts may corrupt the quality of the 3D map. Staining conditions thus need to be optimized. 3D maps of plant aquaporin SoPIP2;1 tetramers solubilized in different detergents illustrate that the flattening artifact can be partially prevented and that the detergent itself contributes significantly. Another example discussed is the complex of G protein-coupled receptor rhodopsin with its cognate G protein transducin.
doi:10.1093/jmicro/dfs091
PMCID: PMC3582345  PMID: 23267047
3D-electron microscopy; detergent belt; membrane protein complex; negative staining; rhodopsin-transducin complex; scanning transmission electron microscopy
15.  A translating stage system for µ-PIV measurements surrounding the tip of a migrating semi-infinite bubble 
Measurement science & technology  2009;21(1):015401.
We have designed, fabricated and evaluated a novel translating stage system (TSS) that augments a conventional micro particle image velocimetry (µ-PIV) system. The TSS has been used to enhance the ability to measure flow fields surrounding the tip of a migrating semi-infinite bubble in a glass capillary tube under both steady and pulsatile reopening conditions. With conventional µ-PIV systems, observations near the bubble tip are challenging because the forward progress of the bubble rapidly sweeps the air–liquid interface across the microscopic field of view. The translating stage mechanically cancels the mean bubble tip velocity, keeping the interface within the microscope field of view and providing a tenfold increase in data collection efficiency compared to fixed-stage techniques. This dramatic improvement allows nearly continuous observation of the flow field over long propagation distances. A large (136-frame) ensemble-averaged velocity field recorded with the TSS near the tip of a steadily migrating bubble is shown to compare well with fixed-stage results under identical flow conditions. Use of the TSS allows the ensemble-averaged measurement of pulsatile bubble propagation flow fields, which would be practically impossible using conventional fixed-stage techniques. We demonstrate our ability to analyze these time-dependent two-phase flows using the ensemble-averaged flow field at four points in the oscillatory cycle.
doi:10.1088/0957-0233/21/1/015401
PMCID: PMC3462032  PMID: 23049168
micro-PIV; interfacial flows; pulmonary airway reopening
16.  Associations of Primary and Secondary Organic Aerosols With Airway and Systemic Inflammation in an Elderly Panel Cohort 
Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.)  2010;21(6):10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181f20e6c.
Background
Exposure-response information about particulate air-pollution constituents is needed to protect sensitive populations. Particulate matter <2.5 mm (PM2.5) components may induce oxidative stress through reactive-oxygen-species generation, including primary organics from combustion sources and secondary organics from photochemically oxidized volatile organic compounds. We evaluated differences in airway versus systemic inflammatory responses to primary versus secondary organic particle components, particle size fractions, and the potential of particles to induce cellular production of reactive oxygen species.
Methods
A total of 60 elderly subjects contributed up to 12 weekly measurements of fractional exhaled nitric oxide (NO; airway inflammation biomarker), and plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6; systemic inflammation biomarker). PM2.5 mass fractions were PM0.25 (<0.25 µm) and PM0.25–2.5 (0.25–2.5 µm). Primary organic markers included PM2.5 primary organic carbon, and PM0.25 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and hopanes. Secondary organic markers included PM2.5 secondary organic carbon, and PM0.25 water soluble organic carbon and n-alkanoic acids. Gaseous pollutants included carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxides (NOx; combustion emissions markers), and ozone (O3; photochemistry marker). To assess PM oxidative potential, we exposed rat alveolar macrophages in vitro to aqueous extracts of PM0.25 filters and measured reactive-oxygen-species production. Biomarker associations with exposures were evaluated with mixed-effects models.
Results
Secondary organic markers, PM0.25–2.5, and O3 were positively associated with exhaled NO. Primary organic markers, PM0.25, CO, and NOx were positively associated with IL-6. Reactive oxygen species were associated with both outcomes.
Conclusions
Particle effects on airway versus systemic inflammation differ by composition, but overall particle potential to induce generation of cellular reactive oxygen species is related to both outcomes.
doi:10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181f20e6c
PMCID: PMC3883570  PMID: 20811287
17.  Conversion of SO2 to sulfur particulate in the Los Angeles atmosphere. 
Gas phase and particular phase sulfur have been measured at various locations in the Los Angeles basin to determine atmospheric conversion rates and mechanisms. A new technique was developed for the measurement of particulate sulfur. From measurements of the particulate to gas phase sulfur ratio near the major stationary sources and far downstream and from estimates of travel time determined by air trajectory analysis, it is possible to estimate gas-to-particle conversion rates for sulfur. Such calculations show that automobiles presently contribute a major part of the total sulfur as measured at a receptor site such as Pasadena, while contributing only a small amount to the particulate sulfur loading. The introduction of oxidation catalyst-equipped vehicles may add significantly to the particulate sulfur at downwind receptor sites; predictions of particulate sulfur concentrations near freeways show substantial increases due to such vehicles.
PMCID: PMC1475082  PMID: 50927
18.  The CULTEX RFS: A Comprehensive Technical Approach for the In Vitro Exposure of Airway Epithelial Cells to the Particulate Matter at the Air-Liquid Interface 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:734137.
The EU Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) demands the implementation of alternative methods for analyzing the hazardous effects of chemicals including particulate formulations. In the field of inhalation toxicology, a variety of in vitro models have been developed for such studies. To simulate the in vivo situation, an adequate exposure device is necessary for the direct exposure of cultivated lung cells at the air-liquid interface (ALI). The CULTEX RFS fulfills these requirements and has been optimized for the exposure of cells to atomized suspensions, gases, and volatile compounds as well as micro- and nanosized particles. This study provides information on the construction and functional aspects of the exposure device. By using the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis, the technical design was optimized to realize a stable, reproducible, and homogeneous deposition of particles. The efficiency of the exposure procedure is demonstrated by exposing A549 cells dose dependently to lactose monohydrate, copper(II) sulfate, copper(II) oxide, and micro- and nanoparticles. All copper compounds induced cytotoxic effects, most pronounced for soluble copper(II) sulfate. Micro- and nanosized copper(II) oxide also showed a dose-dependent decrease in the cell viability, whereby the nanosized particles decreased the metabolic activity of the cells more severely.
doi:10.1155/2013/734137
PMCID: PMC3581133  PMID: 23509768
19.  Effects of Suspended Particulates on the Frequency of Transduction among Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a Freshwater Environment 
Transduction has been shown to play a significant role in the transfer of plasmid and chromosomal DNA in aquatic ecosystems. Such ecosystems contain a multitude of environmental factors, any one of which may influence the transduction process. It was the purpose of this study to show how one of these factors, particulate matter, affects the frequency of transduction. In situ transduction rates were measured in lake water microcosms containing either high or low concentrations of particulate matter. The microcosms were incubated in a freshwater lake in central Oklahoma. Transduction frequencies were found to be enhanced as much as 100-fold in the presence of particulates. Our results suggest that aggregations of bacteriophages and bacterial cells are stimulated by the presence of these suspended particulates. This aggregation increases the probability of progeny phages and transducing particles finding and infecting new host cells. Consequently, both phage production and transduction frequencies increase in the presence of particulate matter.
PMCID: PMC1388404  PMID: 16534986
20.  Highly Sensitive Protein Translation Assay for Trichothecene Toxicity in Airborne Particulates: Comparison with Cytotoxicity Assays 
Screening assays for environmental mycotoxins in bulk samples currently use cytotoxicity in cell cultures, but their application to air particulate samples often lacks sensitivity and specificity for fungal spores. An assay based on inhibition of protein synthesis using translation of firefly luciferase in a rabbit reticulocyte system has been developed for the detection of trichothecene mycotoxins found in the spores of toxigenic fungi. Ethanol extracts of air particulates trapped on polycarbonate filters are ultrafiltered and applied at several dilutions to a translation reaction mixture. The activity of translated luciferase is measured directly in a luminometer, eliminating the need for radioisotopes and time-consuming sample processing. Parallel standard curves using a commercially available trichothecene provide for expression of the results in T-2 toxin equivalents per cubic meter of air. The assay can be completed in 2 h and is readily applicable to multiple samples. Comparison to the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide cytotoxicity assay indicates a 400-fold increase in sensitivity of trichothecene detection in addition to a much higher specificity for these toxins. Initial field testing indicates a strong correlation between the measured level of toxicity and the presence of toxigenic fungi detected with microbiological methods. In conclusion, this luciferase translation assay offers a rapid and highly sensitive and specific method for quantitative detection of trichothecene mycotoxin activity in air particulate samples.
PMCID: PMC90987  PMID: 9872764
21.  Abatement of particulate-laden SO2 in tapered bubble column with internals 
The performance of particulate-laden SO2 scrubbing in a modified tapered bubble column with internals is reported in this article. The presence of particles improved the particulate-laden SO2 removal efficiency to about 15% that was elucidated by the facilitated adsorptive mass transport. Experimentation revealed that nearly 100% removal efficiency of particulate-laden SO2 was achievable without any additives or pretreatment under certain operating condition of the scrubber. An empirical correlation was developed to predict the performance of the modified tapered scrubber. Experimental values fitted excellently well with the predicted values through the correlation (within ±5% deviation). The performance of the modified tapered bubble scrubber with column internals has been found to be better than a tapered bubble column without any internals.
doi:10.1007/s11869-009-0041-3
PMCID: PMC2770133  PMID: 19890465
Particulate-laden SO2 scrubbing; Enhancement of removal efficiency by particulates; Modified tapered bubble column; Wet scrubber; Air pollution control
22.  Crystalline Nanosuspensions as Potential Toxicology and Clinical Oral Formulations for BCS II/IV Compounds 
The AAPS Journal  2012;14(4):677-687.
Nanosuspensions, formulations based on the reduction of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) particle size in the sub-micron range and most typically around 100–200 nm, represent a valuable option for formulators to facilitate oral absorption of Biopharmaceutics Classification System class II and IV compounds. Their ability to increase the API dissolution rate and subsequent absorption and thus oral bioavailability has been demonstrated in preclinical and clinical settings. This review summarizes the current experience in the biopharmaceutic field with the use of nanosuspensions as oral delivery formulations. The principles behind nanosuspensions as well as the in vitro and in silico evaluation are discussed, while examples are presented highlighting both successes as well as limitations in their application as either toxicology or clinical formulations.
doi:10.1208/s12248-012-9383-0
PMCID: PMC3475843  PMID: 22736294
bioavailability enhancement; nanocrystals; nanoparticles; nanosizing; nanosuspensions
23.  Multiplexed and Microparticle-based Analyses: Quantitative Tools for the Large-Scale Analysis of Biological Systems 
While the term flow cytometry refers to the measurement of cells, the approach of making sensitive multiparameter optical measurements in a flowing sample stream is a very general analytical approach. The past few years have seen an explosion in the application of flow cytometry technology for molecular analysis and measurements using micro-particles as solid supports. While microsphere-based molecular analyses using flow cytometry date back three decades, the need for highly parallel quantitative molecular measurements that has arisen from various genomic and proteomic advances has driven the development in particle encoding technology to enable highly multiplexed assays. Multiplexed particle-based immunoassays are now common place, and new assays to study genes, protein function, and molecular assembly. Numerous efforts are underway to extend the multiplexing capabilities of microparticle-based assays through new approaches to particle encoding and analyte reporting. The impact of these developments will be seen in the basic research and clinical laboratories, as well as in drug development.
doi:10.1002/cyto.a.20266
PMCID: PMC2200865  PMID: 16604537
microarray; systems biology; proteomics; protein array; high throughput screening; drug discovery; diagnostics
24.  The Leeuwenhoek lecture 2006. Microscopy goes cold: frozen viruses reveal their structural secrets 
The electron microscope provides a powerful tool for investigating the structure of biological complexes such as viruses. A modern instrument is fully capable of atomic resolution on suitable non-biological specimens, but biological materials are difficult to preserve, owing to their fragility, and to image, owing to their radiation, sensitivity. The act of imaging the specimen severely damages it. Originally, samples were prepared by staining with a heavy metal salt, which provides a stable specimen but limits the amount of details that can be retrieved. Now particulate specimens, such as viruses, are prepared by rapid freezing of unstained material and observed in a frozen state with low doses of electrons. The resulting images require extensive computer processing to extract fully detailed three-dimensional information about the specimen. The whole process is referred to as single-particle electron cryomicroscopy. Using this approach, the structure of the human hepatitis B virus core was solved at the level of the protein fold. By comparing maps of RNA- and DNA-containing cores, it was possible to propose a model for the maturation and control of the envelopment of the virus during assembly. These examples show that cryomicroscopy offers great potential for understanding the structure and function of complex biological assemblies.
doi:10.1098/rstb.2007.2150
PMCID: PMC2606804  PMID: 17690055
electron cryomicroscopy; virus structure; hepatitis B virus; image processing
25.  Development of enteric submicron particle formulation of papain for oral delivery 
Background
Particulate systems have received increasing attention for oral delivery of biomolecules. The objective of the present study was to prepare submicron particulate formulations of papain for pH-dependent site-specific release using pH-sensitive polymers.
Methods
Enteric submicron particle formulations of papain were prepared by w/o/w emulsion solvent evaporation using hydroxypropyl methylcellulose phthalate (HPMCP), Eudragit L100, and Eudragit S100, to avoid gastric inactivation of papain.
Results
Smaller internal and external aqueous phase volumes provided maximum encapsulation efficiency (75.58%–82.35%), the smallest particle size (665.6–692.4 nm), and 25%–30% loss of enzyme activity. Release studies in 0.1 N HCl confirmed the gastroresistance of the formulations. The anionic submicron particles aggregated in 0.1 N HCl (ie, gastric pH 1.2) due to protonation of carboxylic groups in the enteric polymer. Aggregates < 500 μm size would not impede gastric emptying. However, at pH > 5.0 (duodenal pH), the submicron particles showed deaggregation due to restoration of surface charge. HPMCP submicron particles facilitated almost complete release of papain within 30 minutes at pH 6.0, while Eudragit L100 and Eudragit S100 particles released 88.82% and 53.00% of papain at pH 6.8 and pH 7.4, respectively, according to the Korsmeyer–Peppas equation. Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and fluorescence spectroscopy confirmed that the structural integrity of the enzyme was maintained during encapsulation. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy revealed entrapment of the enzyme, with powder x-ray diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry indicating an amorphous character, and scanning electron microscopy showing that the submicron particles had a spherical shape.
Conclusion
In simulated gastrointestinal pH conditions, the HPMCP, Eudragit L100, and Eudragit S100 submicron particles showed good digestion of paneer and milk protein, and could serve as potential carriers for oral enzyme delivery. Stability studies indicated that formulations with approximately 6% overage would ensure a two-year shelf-life at room temperature.
doi:10.2147/IJN.S23985
PMCID: PMC3215151  PMID: 22114474
papain; hydroxypropyl methylcellulose phthalate; Eudragit L100; Eudragit S100; zeta potential

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