Dissolution rates of nanomaterials can be decisive for acute in vivo toxicity (via the released ions) and for biopersistence (of the remaining particles). Continuous flow systems (CFSs) can screen for both aspects, but operational parameters need to be adjusted to the specific physiological compartment, including local metal ion saturation. CFSs have two adjustable parameters: the volume flow-rate and the initial particle loading. Here we explore the pulmonary lysosomal dissolution of nanomaterials containing the metals Al, Ba, Zn, Cu over a wide range of volume flow-rates in a single experiment. We identify the ratio of particle surface area (SA) per volume flow-rate (SA/V) as critical parameter that superimposes all dissolution rates of the same material. Three complementary benchmark materials—ZnO (quick dissolution), TiO2 (very slow dissolution), and BaSO4 (partial dissolution)—consistently identify the SA/V range of 0.01 to 0.03 h/cm as predictive for lysosomal pulmonary biodissolution. We then apply the identified method to compare against non-nanoforms of the same substances and test aluminosilicates. For BaSO4 and TiO2, we find high similarity of the dissolution rates of their respective nanoform and non-nanoform, governed by the local ion solubility limit at relevant SA/V ranges. For aluminosilicates, we find high similarity of the dissolution rates of two Kaolin nanoforms but significant dissimilarity against Bentonite despite the similar composition.
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