Characterization of a Head-only Aerosol Exposure System for Nonhuman Primates

P.Dabisch, J.Kline, C.Lewis, J.Yeager, ML.Pitt.

Inhal Toxicol. 2010 Feb;22(3):224-33. doi: 10.3109/08958370903191023.

A well-characterized exposure chamber is necessary to generate reproducible atmospheres for inhalation toxicology studies. The aim of the present study was to characterize a head-only exposure chamber for non-human primates. Aerosols containing bovine serum albumin (BSA) were used to characterize a 16-L dynamic airflow head-only exposure chamber. A 250-ml plastic bottle with a respirator attached located inside the chamber was used to simulate a breathing head. Chamber leak rate, mixing, and aerosol spatial distributions were quantified. The chamber concentration profile was measured at the chamber exhaust using an aerodynamic particle sizer. Aerosol spatial distribution was determined by collecting filter samples at several chamber locations. The particle size distribution was determined by collecting cascade impactor samples at several chamber locations. The estimated chamber leak rate was within standards suggested in the literature. The measured average aerosol residence time was similar to theoretical aerosol residence time, suggesting that the chamber was mixing well. Additionally, the average concentration measured at each of the sampling locations within the chamber was similar, and the within-run coefficients of variation (CV) across all sampling locations was similar to those reported in previously published studies, again suggesting that the aerosol concentration throughout the chamber was uniform. The particle size distribution was similar throughout the exposure chamber. Additionally, the BSA concentration and particle size distributions measured in the breathing zone of the simulated head were not significantly different from measurements made elsewhere in the chamber, suggesting that respiration does not affect the average aerosol concentration or particle size distribution at the mouth.