We report here a highly successful and original protocol for the dispersion of nanoparticles in biocompatible fluids for in vitro and in vivo studies of the nanoparticle-biology interaction. Titania is chosen as a suitable model as it is one of the priority materials listed by the OECD and small particles of the anatase structure are extensively used as e.g. photocatalysts in solar cells. Consequently, its delivery into the environment and its interaction with biological organisms is unavoidable. Therefore, its biological effect needs to be understood. In this work, we prepared stable nanoparticle dispersions of anatase aggregates using citrate stabilisations between 45 and 55 nm at concentrations of up to 10 mg mL(-1). The optimum pH for this type of suspension was 7, resulting in ζ-potentials of approximately -50 mV. The stabilised aggregates were the subject of dialysis to produce stable dispersions without the chemical stabiliser, thus allowing studies in the absence of potentially toxic chemicals. Different sizing techniques such as Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS), Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) and Differential Centrifuge Sedimentation (DCS) were used to characterise the different suspensions. The results obtained with each of these techniques are compared and a critical analysis of the suitability of each technique is given.
University College Dublin ->