Monthly Archives: June 2013

NIOSH Sub-acute Inhalation Studies with Multi-walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs) by Vincent Castranova


Title: NIOSH Sub-acute Inhalation Studies with Multi-walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs)

Speaker: Dr. Vincent Castranova 

Chief, Pathology and Physiology Research Branch, NIOSH, 

CDC Distinguished Consultant, 

Professor, Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences, West Virginia University

Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Pittsburgh

Date: June 24, 2013
Time: 1:30-2:30pm
Place: 665 Huntington Ave, Building 1, Room 1302, Boston, MA 02115

Abstract:Mice were exposed by inhalation to 5 mg/m3 of MWCNT, 5 hours/day, for up to 15 days. Pulmonary responses, MWCNT translocation from the lung, and lung tumor formation were monitored up to 17 months post-exposure. Initial lung burden was approximately 30 ug/lung. MWCNT, deposited in the conducting airways, were cleared within days. However, MWCNT in the respiratory zone exhibited very slow clearance with a half time in the range of 500 days. Inhalation of MWCNT resulted in a rapid inflammatory response which slowly returned toward control over 168 days post-exposure. In addition, collagen within alveolar walls increased with time post-exposure, progressing to a persistent level significantly above control from 84-168 days post-exposure. At 1 days post-exposure, single MWCNT fibers were found in the tracheobronchial lymphatics, the chest wall, diaphragm, and systemic organs. This translocation continued slowly, increasing the number of extra-pulmonary fibers over the 332 day post-exposure period. Tumor formation was evaluated 17 months after inhalation of MWCNT, using an initiation/promotion model. Although MWCNT alone did not induce significant tumors, inhalation of MWCNT substantially increased tumor formation, size, and carcinogenicity after administration of a DNA damaging chemical, methylcholanthrene, indicating that MWCNT act as a potent promoter.  These results will be discussed in relation to the recent NIOSH REL for carbon nanotubes.

Just Announced: CytoViva Visit

The NanoCenter is very happy to host Cytoviva as they present their latest microscope (Cytoviva) that uses the so-called “hyperspectral imaging”, i.e. measuring the scattering profile of samples, and being able to distinguish cells, and different types of materials. Especially for studies of inorganic particles with cells, it offers several advantages because it is a “label-free” detection method. It is not limited to inorganic particles, however, they claim that also lysosomes and other organic particles can be easily detected. It also has the possibility to use standard fluorescent dyes if we install the appropriate filters.

Title: Nano-scale Hyperspectral Microscopy

Speaker: Byron J. Cheatham, Senior VP, CytoViva, Inc.

Date: Monday July 22

Time: 10:00 am

Place: Room 1302

Abstract: CytoViva, Inc. provides a patented (US patents No. 7,542,203, 7,564,623) nanoscale optical microscope capability integrated with proprietary hyperspectral imaging. This integrated technology was specifically designed for optical observation, spectral characterization and mapping of nano-materials as they interact with biologicals and composite materials. The patented illumination optics of the microscope system utilizes structured oblique-angle illumination to produce a very high signal-to-noise image. Scatter from nano-scale materials imaged with CytoViva’s structured oblique-angle illumination optics can produce as much as seven times more signal intensity when compared to standard darkfield microscope optics.

Integrated hyperspectral imaging on the microscope enables capture of the unique VNIR reflectance spectra (400nm-1,000nm) of nano-scale materials within a wide range of biological and composite environments at a spectral resolution of 2.5nm. The system creates a hyperspectral image of these samples, enabling the nano-materials to be spectrally characterized and mapped throughout the entire sample.

Today over 250 nano-focused laboratories utilize CytoViva technology for nano-drug delivery, nano-toxicology and nano-materials related research initiatives. Additionally the technology is utilized in certain pathogen related studies.

More Info

Joseph D. Brain Fellowship


Joseph D. Brain is the Cecil K. and Philip Drinker Professor of Environmental Physiology and former chair of the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Brain joined the Department in 1962 as a young graduate student researching the body’s response to inhaled gases, particulates, and microbes and has remained at the School since that time—teaching and mentoring countless students, engaging in ground-breaking research, and leading his colleagues with fervor and foresight.

To honor Dr. Brain for his significant contributions to the Department of Environmental Health and the field of environmental physiology, the school is in the process of establishing the Joseph D. Brain Fellowship Fund in Environmental Health. The Fund will provide much-needed resources for environmental health scholars to pursue doctoral and post-doctoral study at the Harvard School of Public Health. Support provided by the fund will enable talented and dedicated students who otherwise would be unable to afford tuition and expenses to pursue their educational goals. It also allows the work started by Dr. Brain to be carried out and expanded by promising scholars who are preparing to begin their careers in the field.

New Website!


Our new website is launching soon. A portal to all things nano. Explore the projects, the researcher and the contact the investigators  via the highly interactive website. Use the website to explore our labs and learn more about the upcoming events. Launching day July 1st.