Table of Contents
Nanomaterials, Volume 8, Issue 8 (August 2018)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) Silica is among the most widely used industrial nanomaterials. Its inhalation may lead to adverse [...] Read more. Silica is among the most widely used industrial nanomaterials. Its inhalation may lead to adverse effects such as lung inflammation. It has been speculated that a binding of proteins or lipid components may underlie toxic effects, but has not yet been studied in situ. Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) is a powerful high-resolution technique used here to identify nanoparticles and biomolecules. In lungs laden with paramagnetic silica nanoparticles we colocalized secondary ions from silica particles and their maghemite iron cores. Ions characteristic for phosphatidylcholine, the major component of the lung surfactant, were highly abundant in lung tissue, but were not detected on silica particles. This indicates that a binding of phosphatidylcholine to the silica surface appears unlikely under in situ conditions of the lung. View this paper.